Review: Akaneiro #1

Review by: Connor Russell Honestly I looked at this book simply because of its name (which I had no idea what it meant) and the cover looks pretty sweet. Doing some research, I found out this is based off a game developed by Spicy Horse Games, which American McGee is a CEO of (The more you know).

The setting is Yomi Island (akin to Feudal Japan, maybe earlier). There are two main societies of people The Red Hunters and the Ainu. One hunts Yokai, or demons, whereas the others believe them to be spirits or gods. During a sacred ritual of the Ainu people, a boar-like yokai “fuses” with a dead bear that was part of the ritual, and a girl who turns out to be the narrator helps out. The Ainu get pissed, saying they disrupted something sacred and now they must war and stuff. The girl, Kani, who always felt like an outsider volunteers to join the Hunters and act as a liaison for the Ainu, after speculation both parties accept and then she must go on a journey as a trial.

Akaneiro #1 CoverJustin Aclin was in charge of writing the story. I'm just going to say straight away, it’s obvious this is a re-imagining of Red Riding Hood. If the big red hood that Kani wears isn't a dead giveaway, just wait for a line at the end of the issue. I feel I can't say too much as the story is based from a game, but it did feel a bit bland. The “tragic past” of Kani and her father, did nothing for me to connect to her or sympathize with her. The characters felt pretty dry and I hope this is something that gets developed on in the next issue.

Art was done by Vasilis Lolos. I had an almost love/hate relationship with the look of this book. Sometimes it looks really awesome, especially on the demons. It would come together in a nice gritty kind of style. Other times it just didn't look right, and this would normally happen with faces, although not all the time. It definitely a style that most people would like or not. In general I will say that I did.

While I wasn't overly impressed with the book as a whole, I can say that it has me in enough that I want to see where they will go with it. Maybe only read this book if you are bored and don't have a great load of anything to do, because in my opinion you aren't missing out on much.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Justin Aclin Artist: Vasilis Lolos Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/22/13