Manga: Jackals

Here’s something I finished reading a number of years ago. Hopefully I haven’t forgotten too much.

Manga: Jackals 「ジャッカル」

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Jackals vol 1 cover

Jackals is a mature, martial arts, action Seinen series written by Murata Shinya and drawn by Kim Hyung-Jin. It was serialised from Sep 2005 to Dec 2008 and is complete with 56 chapters compiled into 7 tankobon volumes.

Cicero City, a city infested with immigrants where people of all races scramble to find work and shelter. Infested with destruction and slaughter, it’s a chaotic society. Living on the edge of this society are Jackals, professional assassins with no allegiance, available to the highest bidder. The story mainly follows one of these assassins-for-hire, Alligator Nichol. [Description taken and edited from Baka-Updates Manga]

Warning: Lots of violence, gore, blood and death. Vulgarity.

When I first read Jackals approximately 4 years ago, I thought it was immensely cool. Re-reading parts of it now. I still think it’s immensely cool, but my excitement for it has diminished quite a bit. At that time, it hadn’t been fully scanlated yet.

With a setting where violence and crime is rampant, you totally expect some blood-pumping action; Jackals is full to the brim with that. The characters look cool, the weapons even cooler, and then there’s battle after battle after battle. Now that I think about it, Cicero City feels a little bit like a crazier, more violent and much darker Ergastulum (if you’re familiar with Gangtsa.). But the mangas aren’t alike at all.

Jackals started out pretty well, albeit a little jarring. You’re thrown head-first into the action and the intensity just keeps increasing. It’s pretty easy to get absorbed into the excitement from the get-go. Unfortunately, I can’t feel the same about how the story developed towards the end of the series. The end felt extremely rushed and lacked the energy it started out with. I only realised the manga had finished scanlating a year after I stopped reading it, and maybe that break had something to do with my impression of it, but the action and story development didn’t have impact anymore. Overall, Jackals’s story wasn’t good, but it wasn’t too bad either.

There are quite a number of characters in Jackals, but none of them stood out for much else other than their super cool designs. They’re interesting to a certain extent, too shallow for a real connection. I appreciated that the story expanded on a few side characters and their backgrounds though. Ah… but if you’re looking for character development, you should try something else. There is little to no character development in Jackals.

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Jackals chp 1 cover                      Jackals vol 6 cover

The best thing about Jackals is its art and action; Dark tones, very high contrast, sharp and sketchy lines. Fight scenes are dynamic and clear with a heavy emphasis on key action as compared to a smooth flow. Does that make sense? It’s a little bit hard to explain :/

Favourite aspect of the series: The 2 main weapons.

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Doesn’t the one on the right look like Allen Walker’s Crown Clown sword?! Aren’t they both so cool and beautiful.

Clearly I need to expand my vocabulary and include more than one word to describe this series. But really, it’s so damn COOL, I’m not sure there’s any other way to express how I feel about Jackals.

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