Japanese Title: Hakodate Youjin Buraichou Himegami
Genre: Yuri Supernatural Action
Length: 5 volumes
- Nice art and texturing, except for…
- Great costume design, except for…
- …those ridiculous combat outfits!
- Poor ecchi timing.
- Several moments of new characters suddenly showing up to save the day.
Himegami is set during the Meiji Era (mid-late 19th century) when feudal Japan opened itself to foreign business. Foreign delegates from several countries including France, the UK, and the US are all vying for power in this land of new business opportunities by using demons to kill off competition. However, a serial killer known as ‘Miburo’ is eliminating their demons one by one. I say ‘serial killer’ because the demons revert to human form upon death, which the public sees as murder.
Miburo is actually Hyou, a fifteen-year-old samurai girl who works as a bodyguard for the local cabaret bar. She saves Himeka behind the bar from a couple of thugs and the cabaret mistress takes Himeka in. When Hyou fights as the Himegami by night, Himeka also has a secret power, transforming into a…a…well, I don’t really know how to describe her (see fourth image below). The costume could have looked sexy, but at this level, it is just so idiotic in design, never mind Hyou’s outfit. What kind of a samurai fights in so little armour and a mini skirt? You can see the inspiration from Berserk, though it completely misses the point. It’s a real shame since they did a great job with the foreign delegates’ costumes.
I found Himegami quite boring, if I am honest. The action has no tension, especially when you realise that Hyou is never in danger because at the end of each major encounter, some completely new character will show up to win the fight. This happens over and over. Even if you have a liking for ecchi, there isn’t much here outside of the bath scenes; the rest of the ecchi is inserted into moments I assume were meant to be taken seriously. And those outfits…so bad.
Art – Medium
Great details, texture and art quality, but by the elements, those superhero costumes.
Story – Low
A heavy action focus with repeated use of Deus Ex Machina.
Recommendation: Don’t bother. The lack of tension in the action and meaningless characters don’t make for an engaging read.
(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)