Gabimaru the Hollow is one of the most vicious ninja assassins ever to come out of the village of Iwagakure. He’s ruthlessly efficient, but a betrayal results in him being handed a death sentence. There is only one hope: travel to a long-hidden island and recover an elixir that will make the shogun immortal and he will regain his freedom. Failure is not an option—on this island, Heaven and Hell are a hair’s breadth away.
TL;DR - Really great read for those who love a good action/survival story. The premise itself is a variation on a story you've all heard before - surviving on an island. But instead of being randomly kidnapped and dumped on the island, we actually have a bunch of criminals and their executioners who've been sent on a suicide mission to recover the "potion of life" for the emperor. It could be broadly categorized under action, fighting, and shounen, but you're not inundated with cliche "courage conquers all" and "power of friendship" bullshit. It's actually refreshingly down-to-earth, and it actually gets a little dark and philosophical in some places. Unique twists and likeable characters keep you excited about what will happen next. It's not just an action manga, and the whole situation turns out to be way more complicated than you're initially led to believe. There are slight hints of romance in here too - not enough to consider it romantic per se, but just enough to keep you curious. The character development is phenomenal. We witness material changes to many of the characters as they go through the journey, and it all happens both beautifully and believably. The art style is also unique - it's both very pretty and very scrappy in its own way, which perfectly mirrors the story and the characters in it. If we consider a spectrum where one end is feel-good, shounen-esque action and the other end is dark, gritty, and slow-burning drama, Jigokuraku fits nicely in-between. A perfect balance of exciting action and gritty drama. Other mangas in a similar vein: Blue Exorcist Demon Slayer Bungou Stray Dogs Hunter x Hunter Attack on Titan Darwin's Game High-Rise Invasion Alice in Borderland Jujutsu Kaisen The Breaker Tokyo Ghoul Seraph of the End If you like any of the above, then you'll definitely like Jigokuraku. Here's a graphic I made based on my opinions of where these fall on the scale:
I have no idea why people are rating this manga lower than it should be but it is BEAUTIFUL. IT IS GOLD. The art is amazing. I've taken a lot of screenshots because yes, and the storyline is really good. The characters are pretty detailed and SPOILERS but THE END IS AMAZING PLEASE. And I also cried a few times throughout the story. I'm sorry if I'm weak but I seriously love this manga thankyou.
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