Manga Review – Outlanders Vol. 8

It all comes down to this, in the series final volume.

General Information

Title: Outlanders Vol. 8
Written and Illustrated by Johji Manabe
Translated by Dana Lewis and Toren Smith
Lettering and Touch-Up by Wayne Truman
Originally Serialized by Hakushensha’s ComiComi Magazine.
Currently out-of-print, but originally published in the US by Dark Horse Comics.

The Premise

Kahm has been brainwashed by her father into forgetting all about Tetsuya. Can Tetsuya restore her memory before he is killed?

Also, we have the prequel one-shot Battia’s Bane, explaining what was going on with Kahm, Geobaldi, and Battia right before the series started.

High Point

You can call this volume many things, but you can’t call it anticlimactic. The fight between Tetsuya and Kahm is well done, and almost makes for an interesting shout-out to their first meeting at the beginning of the series (but instead turns to a shout-out to the conclusion of Tetsuya’s duel with Geobaldi earlier)

Also, the epilogue chapter is well done, as is Battia’s Bane, which beats the heck out of the one-shot we got earlier.

Low Point

Alright, when, precisely, did Aki die? No, really, after overcoming the power of the Yoma Clan, there was no sign that her life was particularly in danger, or anything like that. Instead I got the impression that she just needed to go have a lie down. Geobaldi, Raisa, and Battia’s deaths were all done well. Aki’s death felt like Manabe wasn’t sure if he was going to kill her off or not, and decided to off the character.

Content Notes

Lots of blood here, plus some nudity in the side-story.

The Scores

Originality: I’m not going to say that the conclusion is totally original, as I swear you could find bits and pieces of this ending in not insignificant places (Aliens, Return of the King, etc.) It’s executed well, but I in no way could call it original. 2 out of 6.

Artwork: Still rock solid. In particular, The destruction of the home-world of the Santovasku empire is well done. 6 out of 6.

Story: The conclusion and the denouement is executed very well. In particular I liked the epilogue chapter, as it really gave all the main characters one big last chance in the sun together before the series conclusion. 5 out of 6.

Characterization: The art and the writing do a very good job of getting across the characters’ maturity, especially in the epilogue. Also, while earlier volumes have done an excellent job showing Tetsuya’s growing maturity, this volume really does a great job of showing Kahm’s character growth as well. 5 out of 6.

Emotional Response: Considering the series conclusion, it’s safe to say that this volume does have something of an melancholic emotional tone to it, in part because the writer is done with this world, but also due to the events in this volume. 5 out of 6.

Flow: 6 out of 6.

Overall: This is a strong and satisfying conclusion to this manga. In general, I’ve been satisfied with this series, and I think this is one of the better manga series to be published (originally) in the 90s. 5 out of 6.

In Total, Outlanders Vol. 8 gets 34 out of 42.