I have not been reading up on the history of the series and this sudden narrative turn caught me by surprise. I found the period drama very intriguing – the riveting action is now mixed with mystical aspects, ninjas, Spaniard warships and rifles all thrown into the mix. The artwork comes across as even more dazzling than previous issues. There also seems to be more explicit sex and the violence is more extreme as well.
The author of the manga has taken time to explain some historical aspects of the novel – real historical figures and legendary swordsman take part in this twisted version of feudal Japan. The story can become a bit difficult to follow for new readers, but the comic remains fascinating nonetheless.
Verdict : the manga is improving with each issue and I have become hooked. Both the plot and the artwork is exceptional. A highly recommended manga.