Peace Maker Kurogane

Peace Maker Kurogane Volume 1 by Nanae Chrono

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Peace Maker Kurogane, I was a little leery of reading the first book of a sequel series when I hadn’t read the previous series. It turns out I was right to be worried, because I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters and the relationships between them. Tetsunosuke is a young member of the Shinsengumi, the Kyoto police force. He’s traumatized by a recent battle, but his fellow Shinsengumi continue to fight and train. A charismatic ronin named Ryouma appears from time to time, shaking the Shinsengumi out of their usual routine.

There were simply too many characters in an already established cast for me to really keep track of what was going on. This is one case where character biographies and a plot summary more detailed than the description on the back of the book would really have come in handy, but those extras weren’t included in this book. The art is incredibly detailed, with distinctive character designs and fluid fight scenes. I liked Momo Tama, another manga by Chrono, and I think I’m more likely to read that series than dive into the back story of Peace Maker. I think fans of the previous series will like Peace Maker Kurogane, but it isn’t a good place to start for a new reader.

Review copy provided by Tokyopop.