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Orient Volume 1 Main

"Orient: Volume 1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Kodansha Comics


Written and illustrated by Shinobu Ohtaka
Translated by Nate Derr
Lettered by Daniel Park
2021, 208 Pages
Graphic novel released on January 26th, 2021


In a world where demons are worshiped as gods, Musashi knows the truth. At age 10, he made a pact with his best friend Kojiro to become noble Bushi and fight the demons, no matter the cost. Things changed over the years and Musashi finds himself working in the mines for the demonic overlords. He gets one last chance to stand up to the demons, but it could cost him his life.

Orient hits an interesting idea for a manga about a kid fighting monsters. Creator Shinobu Ohtaka looks at the feeling of not accomplishing your dreams through this lens. We all had stuff we hoped we would do with our lives and many of us fall short of those goals. Musashi is going through that at the opening of the book, realizing that he blinked and he's not a kid anymore and he never became a Bushi. He finds himself living in a shotgun shack in another part of the world...

Musashi sees this last chance and grabs onto it with both hands. In this case, he turns his scythe, formerly used for mining, into a weapon to hack and slash through the demons. Kojiro, after calling out his friend for not following this dream, despite never amounting to anything on his own either, busts out a wicked motorcycle and katana and joins in him battle.

At first the demons look silly and playful. We see a big kitty with a star on its face. Then the star opens up to reveal rows and rows of razor sharp teeth, just before it devours a man whole. The big bad in this volume starts out as a big egg with feet, like a cartoon of a chick about to hatch. It evolves into this gigantic crystal bird monster though.

If I had to guess, about 50% of Orient: Volume 1 is a fight scene. Ohtaka delivers bombastic, action-packed sequence after sequence as these two BFFs take the fight to a giant chicken demon. I don't know where the Hell that thing came from or why these demons are eating people, but I am here for this. This shit is crazy and I love it.

One thing I'm noticing with manga is that the lettering can be all over the place. This might be due to the translation, as we're moving from Japanese to English and those are two very different languages that require different amount of space. Daniel Park does an admirable job boosting the font size when necessary for some extra bang.

Orient introduces us to this frightening world where humanity is no longer on the top of the food chain. Musashi and Kojiro are just two of the handful of people that have risen up to take the fight to the demon overlords. It will be interesting to see how these two amateurs settle in with other Bushi down the line and what other creatures await them in this journey.


Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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