Random Manga Theatre 15: Yowaito Nikki

Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.

This time: Yowaito Nikki, by Takayanagi Sankusu

Yowaito Nikki (Diary of a Drunk Man) takes place in that nebulous period of time (that I’m sure actually has a definition that someone better versed in history will be happy to correct me about) where samurai roamed the lands of Japan, dueling each other and doing whatever it was that samurai did. The basic premise is that there are a number of “spirit swords” floating around somewhere, aptly named considering they are blades possessed by spirits who want to observe humans.

Our hero, Hisui, has one of these spirit swords, and as the title of the story may indicate, it makes him perpetually intoxicated. It also does the same to any man it cuts – it is unable to kill, only strike a man and leave him in a drunken stupor. Assassins perpetually attack Hisui to claim the sword for the Emperor, and he would normally be fully willing to give it away, if there wasn’t the small detail of spirit swords stealing the souls of people who abandon them. Not that the Emperor, his assassins, or other bounty hunters with their own spirit swords really care much about that, of course. They just want glory, or more power, or the privilege to leave behind their own spirit swords.

As such, Hisui travels Japan, fighting off assassins and other spirit sword wielders, all the while trying to protect his childhood friend from any danger and dealing with a hangover every morning. At least, he would, if this were actually a series and not just a oneshot. As such, it’s short and can be finished in probably only a few minutes.

Verdict: I Wish It Were A Series
The setup for this has potential for a decent serial, with the spirit swords and the people hunting for them having a monster-of-the-week feel. We see multiple spirit swords over the course of this one chapter, and each one has its own odd little power. It reminds me of back when Bleach was in its heyday, when it was more about strange sword fights and not silly magic and terrible writing. At any rate, I recommend at least giving it a quick read if you like that sort of shonen-y thing.

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