Manga Monday: Bootsleg Volume 1

Author/Artist: Suzuhito Yasuda
Publisher: Kodansha
Released: March 29, 2022
Received: NetGalley

I’m going to be honest here; I didn’t know what I was getting into with Bootsleg Volume 1. It had a dark and foreboding cover, which caught my attention. Still, I was not prepared for what I found on these pages.

Zen was just a young boy when Shake Hand murdered everyone around him – Zen’s family included. The killer also took Zen’s left leg – an insult to injury and all that. Now Zen is on a quest for vengeance, but he will need help and training to get it.

Luckily for Zen, there’s an artisan syndicate sworn to stop Shake Hand. Naturally, Zen wants in on the action (and the revenge, don’t forget that bit!).

Okay, so I wanted to like Bootsleg Volume 1. The beginning reminded me of Fullmetal in terms of tragic backstory meets graphic nature. However, the comparisons end there. While I don’t regret reading Bootsleg Volume 1, I don’t think I ended up enjoying it as much as I had hoped.

The art style is busy – and on the whole, I don’t mind that style, but it did make the fight scenes challenging to decipher at times. So I think that took away some of the impact and power of what we were being shown.

The other characters in this volume surprised me, though I wish we could have gotten to know them better. Most introductions felt shallow at best, especially for the ones that I was most interested in. I’m hoping future volumes will solve that issue.

Thanks to Kodansha and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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