First Impression: Ryusui no Tsubasa

Nanaten's Random Review

Ryusui no Tsubasa: Shiki Ryuko Seike Iden Volume 1

Nanaten here finally able to read the latest series by Kawahara Masatoshi sensei. The public raw is finally available. I was planning to post this on Friday but I got too excited.

Just like my review on Shura no Toki volume 16, the public scans is that of low quality one. I don't have the magazine scans. Makes me wondering if now is the right time to use money from donation and patreon to buy the raws. I probably should. 

One more thing: I'm not familiar with wuxia genre or Chinese history. I use the Japanese names to refer the characters. Anyway, here we go.

Ryusui no Tsubasa: Shiki Ryuko Seike Iden
Story and Art: Masatoshi Kawahara
Publisher: Kodansha (Monthly Shonen Magazine)

First time reading this, I thought it's a wuxia manga. 219 BC., the protagonist, Choryo (Zhang Liang) is out on a quest to kill the First Qin Empire (Qin Shi Huang). On his way to village of strongmen, he saved a child with a yellow rock (a nod to Huang Shigong) from falling off a cliff. The only surviving strongman in the village, Kyuki, seemed hostile at first but later joined Choryo to keep the child, Koseki, save from Choryo's revenge plot.

The main thing I would like to point out is the relationship between our three protagonists: Choryo, Kyuki, and Koseki. Choryo is our typical Masatoshi Kawahara's calm protagonist. Choryo being a strategist, lacks the power to to conduct the act commit murder, but he does have the intent (enough to make Kyuki wary of him). He also lacks the fear of dying, something that makes him the most dangerous person in Fortunately, he does have a sense of humor. His banter with Kyuki and Koseki is the main source of humor.

Kyuki is the powerhorse. He's the opposite of Choryo. While Choryo is cheerful, weak, and feminine, Kyuki is serious, strong, and masculine (just look at those ripped thighs). They do share common traits: both are calm during crisis and they care about Koseki's well being. That is the base of their relationship as they off with a bad start.

Koseki the cheerful toddler is the moral compass, both figuratively and being an actual compass. Both Choryo and Kyuki really care for her (oh yeah, did I forgot to mention? Koseki is a girl). She's the one who keep the group together. Without her, there's nothing stopping Choryo from taking suicidal actions and there's nothing stopping Kyuki from killing Choryo. As for being an actual compass, Kouseki seems to have an ability of foresight. She is able to determine which path to take and who to trust. It has saved Choryo many times. 

The action scenes are brief, but they tell just how strong Kyuki is. It's been years since Kaiouki, but Masatoshi can still draw scenes where a man easily mow down troops with a giant spear, musou style. Okay, now I need a musou game of this series. If Legend of Arslan can get one, this manga can too. 

Like Shura no Toki, this manga has many historical notes. But the public scans was too blurry, I couldn't read it nor bring myself to care about it.

There's only two chapters in this volume, but those two chapters are well paced. They tell what we need to know about each of our three protagonists and how they influence one another. If you enjoy wuxia manga combined with loli rising with calm protagonists, this is the manga for you.