The matches so far (without giving away the winners):
As should be clear, the appeal of this manga is that it mixes together mythology and folklore from a variety of cultural sources--having these pseudo-historical figures battle to the death. They add to and alter the traditional legends, to give it their own flavor. It's a really cool premise and I like the structured set-up of the fights--having a limit of at most thirteen fights creates tension along the way as well as a built-in perfect way to end it. But while they've got the hype down, they don't necessarily got the follow-through. What I mean by that is that the story does a good job of creating excitement before the matches, building up tension during the matches (through spectator commentary and backstories), and making the outcome of the matches uncertain up until the very last moments, but the matches themselves are honestly somewhat meh. Some of the fights barely seem choreographed, and more often than not it feels like they're just an exchange of increasingly final final moves. With people just smashing together and creating shockwaves and stuff. It's not visually stunning, nor do I get immersed into the action. Part of the reason it's difficult to get immersed could be that spectators play a large role (for the hype) which means that the focus is constantly shifting away from the actual engagements. Are the fights horrible? No, they're adequately decent. But for a manga that's solely built around a series of fight scenes, I expect the fight scenes to be spectacular. I do get invested and excited though, but that has less to do with the action and more to do with the atmosphere.
I don't really appreciate all the over-the-top facial contortions. I don't really care about the Valkyrie sisters or how their names connect to their weapon abilities or whatever. And I find the whole "divine weapon" aspect of the story to be unnecessary (that aspect could've easily been written out of the story without losing what makes the manga appealing). If chapter 33 is a sign of where the story is headed, I'm not sure how I feel about that.
[Reviewed at chapter 38]