Ryouma is an excellent fighter--both with martial arts and weapons--and cunning in his tactics. My favorite part of the manga is definitely the tactics and outmaneurvering that occurs, but there are also several anticlimactic moments where the plot seems to be leading up to a cool confrontation between him and a worthy opponent but then it just fizzles out (with Shaldina in chapter 8 and with Hodram in chapter 23). Like, it would be so much more epic if those events had actually turned into a battle of wits or something, as opposed to bleh.
He gains some allies along the way. So far, we have the twin battle slaves Sara and Laura, Lione and her mercenaries, and the "rappa" Gen and Sakuya. And it also seems like Shaldina and Sudou will be longterm antagonists, and I gotta say that they're both pretty good baddies. I have mixed feelings about the more "romantic" aspects to the story, largely consisting of the twin girls being jealous and longing for Ryouma's attentions. On the one hand, it's sorta cute. On the other hand, it's shallow banality that seems to be endorsing sex slavery.
Currently, the story can be split into three sections: Fleeing the Country (ch. 1-10), A Succession War (ch. 11-24), and Cultivating an Untamed Territory (ch. 25-current). In a way, both of the first two sections are just setting the stage for why Ryouma has been put in charge of the Wortenia peninsula (the namesake of the manga, which surprisingly hadn't played a role up to that point). Actually, with the events of chapters 26 and 27 along with the nation-building challenge being laid in front of Ryouma, I'm super psyched about what's to come. Probably more psyched than any of the previous plotlines made me.
[Reviewed at chapter 28]