January 30, 2008

A boy and his flame dragons

recca no honou flame of reccaTitle: Recca no Honou (Flame of Recca)
Story & Art: Anzai Noboyuki
Volumes: 33
Genre: Shounen

Does anyone still remember Recca and his flame dragons? It was quite popular here in the Philippines when it was shown locally so I'm sure the Filipino readers would remember Recca and the other characters (with ugh...tagalized names).

But I'm not writing about the anime today. In the event that you have no clue as to what Recca no Honou is, it's about this high school kid who have always dreamt of being a ninja. Recca always gets into fights and openly declares that whoever beats him will be his master. He gives his services to Yanagi - a girl with healing powers - and swears to protect her. Which is where the story basically starts.

A tycoon, Mori, is after Yanagi because he wants to be immortal. A woman appears to Recca and Yanagi warning them about Mori's plans and we learn that Recca's from an ancient ninja clan called the Hokage and he was sent to the future in order to save his life.

The Hokage have a bunch of weapons that are really powerful. They were being collected by Mori so that he can have a strong army led by his son, Kurei. (And Kurei happens to be Recca's older brother.) Recca finds out that he can control several flame dragons that are living inside him. With this newfound power, plus a bunch of friends who have Hokage weapons with them too (Mikagami, Fuuko, Domon and Koganei), they enter this tournament arranged by Mori in order for him to acquire all Hokage weapons and Yanagi.

The Flame of Recca manga is drawn really well and I like the flow of the story. Unlike the anime which ends after the tournament, the manga's story continues further until Recca and the others faces the most diabolical of all Hokage weapons. Truths about Recca and Kurei are revealed which are pretty surprising. I like the fact that in the manga, Recca is given this antagonistic view into his past whereas in the anime, Recca's the hero and that's that.

I actually came to like Kurei more as I read into the story. The character development is superb - not only for Kurei, but for the others as well. Nothing is rushed and the story twists wonderfully. Along with the most evil Hokage instrument comes more powerful enemies for Recca. I like how the story ended too. It didn't leave me hanging...not one bit.

If you've seen Flame of Recca - the anime - read the manga as I'm sure the anime just left you really hanging. I mean, the anime ended with Recca winning but the antagonists are alive - or at the very least, no satisfactory ending has been given to them. So you really have to wonder if there's more to the story than what you watched. If you read this entire entry, you'll know that there is more! So do read it because I'm certain you won't regret spending all that time going through 33 volumes of manga ^^;
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