Manga: The Great Yokai War: Guardians Vol. 3

Order

The Great Yokai War: Guardians Vol. 3


English Comic Title

The Great Yokai War: Guardians 3

Authors:

Yusuke Watanabe (English translation by Motoko Tamamuro and Jonathan Clements)

Pencils:
Inks:
Colors:
Language:
Release:
Publisher
:
Pages:

Sanami Suzuki
Sanami Suzuki
-
Japanese
2024
Titan Manga
164

Covers:

Sanami Suzuki

Comic

Review

By: Andrew Sudomerski

Before looking here, this is just to say make sure to read Nick's review of the last installment of the Japanese version of this manga before reading my own, since it covers story-related matters and what have you. The following are just mostly my own thoughts, and at least a spot where you can order the English copy of the book if you are inclined to do so through the Order link provided above. This… Thankfully is overall a wonderful conclusion. Consecutively, this manga adaptation throws in some pleasant surprises throughout the reading experience for the most part. The consistent throughline with this adaptation holds strong, and continues to be a sensible and reasonable reinterpretation of key details and events.

This being technically my second round with this particular manga, having purchased it in Japanese first, reading it in English definitely gives the needed context I didn't realize was there; like how younger Dai becomes possessed by the spirit of Tsuna part way through. So reading it was nothing short of a surprise twist I didn't even realize was coming. Once again, nearly all praises on the story front, retooling and repurposing plot elements from the live-action movie in more clever and useful ways. Daimajin was also a blast to see come to life in the pages of the manga, with him even starting off as his Showa-era counterpart before morphing to the manga's equivalent to the Reiwa version (some stylistic changes, but shares the basic attributes).

But for the first time, I do feel like there are a couple of drawbacks that come to my attention.

The biggest drawback to me comes down to Yokaiju's evolved state. While we get a nice, clean look at Yokaiju's first form (which I feel has a nice flare of being more monstrous without compromising the human-like elements), most of the art of the second form is basically illustrated in silhouettes and shadow. And even when we do get to see its face, it's very clearly using reference images to depict it. Which is a darn shame, as I would've loved to have seen Yokaiju's evolved form get similar treatment to the first form. Same goes for the cover, where Yokaiju and Daimajin feel more heavily referenced (though thankfully, the interiors for Daimajin are nice and stylized).

Then there is also one particular gag that I'm confident Nick's already illustrated in his review. However, for my own view of it… It services the story and feels within Japanese sensibilities, but not one that I can say is up my alley. It's drawn very deliberately comedic in the two times it's used, and even concluding Amanojaku's arc with the Onis, I just don't think it flies with me personally. It's a gag that feels sensible in the realm of the story, which I have a hard time even thinking of any theoretical workaround. Humor's very subjective, if even a little gross, so I think it's just a matter of how much you're willing to tolerate when a character gets paralyzed by having two fingers shoved up their… Well, y'know. Though for me, this one gag isn't enough of a detractor to how the rest of the story is ultimately handled. I feel like if you can tolerate this particular gag, you're in the clear for what's still a great story, even if I wish the gag had been something else.

Complaints aside, I really do find myself loving this particular version of the story all around, definitely above and beyond when compared to its theatrical counterpart. The wait for this story to conclude (aside from the blatant tease of a follow-up involving Kato, though that was already in the movie) felt like a worthwhile wait, and being able to read it in English still makes me happy to read it in its fullest context. Much kudos to Titan Manga for bringing this story over to the English speaking parts of the world!