Honestly, the design is great, details are just amazing and you can follow the flow of a fight, story with the kids is touching. However it became totally a mess with the touch of King Arthur, snd then add some werewolves, vampires, Holy War and you have some ''crazy'' scientists' characters but it wasn't clear at all. To give more than 5/10 is due to the drawings.
I have so far read the 3 volumes that I purchased and I feel that it is important to say the first chapters that I had found online had whole portions were taken out of it. The scans are incomplete and only have 4 chapters anyway. So, basicly if you want to really read this one you will have to buy it or you will have to check it out from some library if they happen to have it... which I doubt.
I saw it likened to Berserk so I thought, sure I'll give it a try. However, after reading 3 volumes I would say that suggesting it to be akin to Berserk is an insult to Berserk. In the 3 volumes I have read, there is little in similarities between the 2. The only major similarity is that the Demons that Jack the Ripper faces are human looking before they transform to fight him and then after they die they revert back to human form in death. That's all other than the general similarity of a buff man fighting monsters.
The story, taken simply for Gore and violence sake, can be entertaining. Smiling psycho killers and monsters are fun to read about and I was also drawn to the fact that It was sopposed to be about Jack the Ripper. However, after the first little bit of the story it feels like it expanded in a bunch of different unoriginal directions, spreading the story too thin in the process.
Some examples of the many things taken from other fiction stories and put in this one are as follows:
-Jack the Ripper looks like the Breaker's Chun Woo at times. He also does some moves that are similar to the Nine Arts Dragon. Although he has these similarities to Chun Woo he is not working for the Murm.
-Jack the Ripper and some other "good guys" in the story surprisingly work for the Illuminati.... These Illuminati seem at this point to have roots in the church. However, that may just be the guy above Jack the Ripper in their Hirarchy and nothing more.
-Jack the Ripper was made as a product for Frankenstines anger and revenge. What exactly that means or entales is unknown. However, people like Wiess want to get their hands on Jack the Ripper in order to take the thing implanted on his spine which soposedly is the reason that he can be a match for demons. They want to get it for their own selfish reasons. Like Weiss want's to use it to somehow revive his dead wife.
- All the fictional characters from other stories don't derive from Jack the Ripper only. We also have Sherlock Holmes and he runs around with Watson.. They work as Jack The Ripper's friends and illuminati helpers from time to time.
-Count Percival - This guy is from Arthorian Legends/hero of the grail but shows up in here as I think the big bad guy. Though, he is mysterious so far so there is no way to be sure. He is trying to collect bad guys.
- The Abyss Feeders from Claymore make an appearance with their eyes sewn shut and such. They're are a bunch of them. Their purpose is to fight I guess. Their role is really unneeded. It feels more like it is a nod to claymore more than anything.
At this point my brain is Losing it, trying to wrap my head around all this. However, that is not all. We got some hellsing type holy church thing going on with different factions of the church fighting. It's all over the place. The only thing you can count on to not completely sizzle your brain is the violence and even that many times has no purpose.
I am contemplating dropping the whole series completely. After all I wasted more than 30 dollars on it. However, I want to hope there is some sort of method to this madness. There are some great stories in manga and novels that seem completely rediculous in the beginning only for them to at some point actually start making sense and then by the end they have become worthy of your time and money. So I guess the questions are: Do I think this one likely to be one of those? I doubt it. Do I feel invested enough to continue hoping? I don't know... maybe. If I don't find something better in the mean time.
If you like Berserk and think that you may like this because of that... don't fall for it. Berserk even at it's most dark and gory was original and had a understandable story and direction. This one has no such thing.
So how would I rate the story in a number here? Well as of the first 3 volumes the story rating would be at a 3.5 this is because despite all of it's falures... I don't know if it can level itself out eventually and make it better. The original idea about Jack the Ripper had promice I guess. It may by the end of my read get worse or better and I will update my review at that point but this is where it stands now.
The art... is dark and kinda similar to Hellsing in a way. I would say it's decent. Much better than the story in terms of ratings. I would not compare it to berserk obviously. However, it doesn't hurt my eyes or anything... at least most of the time. I am no art fanatic so if I say too much about the art I am likely to put my foot in my mouth. All I can really say is that to my eye. The art is slightly above average in terms of all the manga I have read. It has it's moments. So I gave it a 7.5
The Characters... where to start?... or should I actually care enough to start? I guess I will considering I should at least warn people should they feel the need to buy it.
Jack the Ripper (Vincent) (Frankenstine's Creation) (Wanna Be Nine Arts Dragon * Chun-Woo) - This guy seems strong and crazy, he has sopposedly lived for 400 years. He has some sort of regeneration ability. So when he discarded his arm by cutting it off so he could flee from a underling enemy. I thought it was all part of a greater plan or deception. But it seems the guy is actually pretty weak. Since at the end of the 3rd volume, he still had a stump where his arm was. He's pretty human too even though they try so hard in the beginning to make him inhuman. He's a buff guy with some sort of access to wepons and technology that is not possible in the 1800's yet they still feel the need to talk like they come from that era... well maybe not talk like it but they throw a few words and names out that come from that era. The guy... is a anti hero type I guess. Though what he really is seems to be just expanding to different things after every new fight. Maybe he's some sort of cyborg that still bleeds and breathes.
Sherlock Holmes - In addition to being great at figuring things out that make little sense. He seems to be the comic relief along with his partner Watson... but he still seems to also be incredibly skilled at fighting. Watson seemed to have to come along for the ride in this manga too... from Sherlock Holmes adventures...
Watson - comic relief pure and simple. Seems like he could be capable of being strong but so far he is only comic relief.
Mr Big (no I am not making this up) - Iluminati head guy from the church... hm... sounds very hellsingish...he also has super powers in that whatever he touches with his hands that are impure just disinigrate... I don't know what to really say about this guy and his power. I don't really like it. Also, for some reason he reminds me of that old man captain from bleach. Don't ask me why. I haven't a clue.
Cut and paste Illuminati underling #1 through Infinity - Seems like they always use one male and one female. Jack the Ripper tells them to F off and ignores them when they get tortured and killed even though they are sopposed to somehow be on the same side... or at least that is what it seems like. These guys are always being knocked around killed and then new replacements show up.
Ian Riley - Some extreme psycho who kills people talking about God and such, happily torturing them. Makes no difference if they are strong or weak. He shows a variety of emotions on his face and has some sort of devil like powers... weather he is one or not is I guess up for debate... though he claims to be from the church. He looks a lot like Jack but at the same time you can tell he is a different person still. Apparently he can take over criminal investigations done by the police too for god knows what reason. He reminds me in a couple scenes, in the 2nd volume, of the Red cross knight that is crazy and controls gravity in Samurai Deeper Kyo (the manga).
Cain - Ian's partner from the church supposedly. He can barely speak and already looks like a monster without reverting to anything as of yet.
Roy - I don't know why, but he looks like someone from later in the story... maybe a relitive? I haven't a clue. He is a police detective... his girlfriend was a widow who was a demon. This demon lady got Roy to kill for her. Jack saved him I guess then we see him running into Ian who is chasing him and that is all we know about him... probably dead... but who really knows. Like I said he bares a resemblince to another man or demon guy. the guy I am speaking of seems like the big bad guy maybe. Anyway, I don't know. Roy stopped being significant I guess.
Mary- One of the many prostitute women in this story. Has children she blames all her life problems on and beats them. Her children are the ones who help Jack when he is fleeing for his life after cutting off his own arm. However, she is taken in by the rich bad guy, count percival... she seems to like him and he seems to like her... though I cannot say for sure if Percival really does like her.. I think he is probably just using her. She seems to have at least a couple motherly instincts left... maybe. She crys when her son's gone missing and seems actually super relieved to see her daughter and forces her back inside... probably to try to protect her as she goes out looking for the boy... the madam of the brothel she works at said she was good to her kids but at the end of the 3rd volume she shows she is taking the little girl to do god knows what to her. Mary is a selfish woman, horrible mother, and queen pessimist. She also has a temper. However, she may prove to change her ways. We will have to see.
Lord Weiss - I don't even understand this guy... I can't understand why he has underlings that actually help him for such a rediculous reason. He wants to revive his dead wife. He wants to do this by stealing Jack the Rippers thing he has imbedded in his back which they say was made by Frankenstien and is why he can regenerate and also why he can fight so well. This guy is the boss of multiple people but what their actual aim is other than to revive his dead wife I do not know... there has to be some other reason for people to help him, good or bad.
Hyde - Some underling under Lord Weiss - He is a underling yet he has the ability to beat the main character in the 2nd volume forcing a self done amputation in order to distract him somehow so Jack the ripper could get away. He looks like a monster in human form. He also looks a little like Cain. These guys also seem to be the ones responsible for some of the devil things and the Abyss Feeders from Claymore that seem to pop up in vol. 2 a lot.
Tesla - Some sort of sientist helping Weiss churn out monsters trying to get it right sopposedly so he can bring his bosses wife back to life. He is small and cowardly. At least he seems that way at this point.
Count/Sir Percival - this is the guy who is most likely one of the main bad guys maybe even the main bad guy of them all. He is extremely old aparently. He seems to have a thing for Mary... though he is probably just using her. He is rediculously powerful and seems to have a lot of pull. This guy is really handsome and looks kinda like Roy from the first volume... Though, he has some differences as well.
After all my rambling is said and done what is the final verdict? I would suggest that you not waiste your money on this manga. I gave it a 5.5 overall score. However, that is only because of the fact that I have only read 3 volumes. I was generous in my scoring.