47 CommentsManga Driver / By Scamp /

Manga Driver: Sanctuary

Sanctuary Part 1 #7 - 00fcVolume Count: 14 (complete)

Sanctuary tells the story of two men who escaped the killing fields of Cambodia as children into Japan to try build a safe haven for themselves. Except wait, they’re not actual Cambodian children. They’re handsome young Japanese children trapped in Cambodia because their parents were doctors. Don’t want to be like those smelly Cambodians with their funny coloured skin and wonky teeth. Asami, the glasses-wearing handsome young fellow, gets into politics to try build them their ‘Sanctuary’, while Hojo, the spectacle-less but still incredibly handsome young fellow, joins the yakuza to help Asami from behind. But not actually from behind because that would be gay and we’re too busy making love to hot babes to be gay.

So begins the tale of glorification of organised crime and laughably immature approach to politics. The yakuza is where men with honour fight for their turf. They don’t get involved with drugs or protection money. We just catch out people who are being unfaithful to their wives. And then we fuck their wives. Because we are so irresistible what with all this power and fancy suits we have. Meanwhile getting elected to a political office is easy. All you need to do is yell really loudly about how Japan needs CHANGE and the people inside are WRONG and we’re young and handsome and never mind that we literally have no policies whatsoever, we’re DIFFERENT and that will get us elected…actually maybe that’s not so far from the truth.

All right fine, I’ll drop the spitting sarcasm for a second. Sanctuary is sort of a cross between Legend of the Galactic Heroes, James Bond and The Godfather. The main appeal of the manga comes from the mind games and twists as Asami and Hojo try to claw their way to the top of their respective fields. The political battle is mostly about getting the right people on your side, uncovering scandals and proving your mettle when it really counts. The yakuza story is largely the same except with more killing. Getting people on your side, forming alliances and making speeches and shows of force to get the right people to follow you. Sanctuary is at its most fun when it embraces its more over-the-top characters and dramatic facial expressions. My favourite is the mind games between Asami and the big boss politician dude Isaoka, because there’s so much hand-wringing over every action and each twist is greeted by someone bursting into a room yelling “OMG OMG OMG DID U C WUT ASAMI/ISAOKA DID!?!?”.

Sanctuary Part 1 #5 - 68-69

The artstyle goes for a very photo-realistic approach with an incredible attention to detail on shading. Don’t let this trick you into thinking this makes the artwork great though. Because the manga is all politics, each chapter is usually just pages and pages of talking heads, with the occasional shot of someone opening a door or wielding a gun dramatically, or maybe some hot lady sucking one of the yakuza’s dicks because that happens an awful lot. After a while you start to notice that the facial expressions the characters pull don’t change a whole lot. Hojo in particular has this one pose of his head facing slightly downwards with a upturned corner of his mouth and a ‘come hither’ look on his face that I swear must be his exact same pose with exact same smile and exact same ‘come hither’ look in roughly 20% of his scenes. The art style does actually suit the story, with its masculine features enhanced and bedroom eyes, but it doesn’t have a whole lot of variety.

And then there’s the treatment of women. Whenever you see a woman, it’s because they’re prostitutes, or a sexy lady one of the main characters have picked up, or models the politicians are having sex with, or ladies the yakuza are raping. There are a grand total of 2 named female characters. One is the police officer who is supposed to be tracking Hojo but unfortunately Hojo is just so totemo sexushii desu~ that she abandons her job for him. The other is a female politician from America who’s over to tell Japan to drop their high import tax on American cars. Asami and his politician buddies are discussing how to deal with her, and one of them suggests giving her a good dicking and that solve everything because that’s how you deal with all women. And then THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT ASAMI DOES! He woos the American politician, has sex with her, and then she drops her demands and leaves the country because the sex was just that good.

Sanctuary Part 1 #7 - 58-59

The treatment of women is so baffling that it starts to create plot holes. If the police are really trying to get these yakuza on some charge, why don’t any of the women they rape press charges? Asami is trying to get the younger population to pay attention to politics, citing that they’re not connected because the diet is only full of old men. He’s gets half of the problem solved by being a young man, but what about the ‘men’ part of ‘old men’? Women consist of half of the voting public and yet nobody considers that maybe having a young woman running would get the younger female generation to pay attention? It’s here that I realised what the trick was: Sanctuary does not consider women as people. Once you realise that, everything falls into place. Girls to fuck are just part of the glorified yakuza lifestyle, along with good food, nice suits and fast cars. Women are simply not part of the political equation, and if they are you just need to give them a right hard shag amirite guys!

I read all of Sanctuary so I guess I did enjoy it on some level. The political mind games and plot twists were very entertaining in their own right, particularly because the story kept the pace fairly quick. Plus the politics got a bit better as the story went on. The policies became less ridiculous and more plausible, and when something ridiculous was suggested it was treated with the right amount of shock in-story. But it is a male power fantasy through and through. It’s the most sexist thing I have ever read, getting the otherwise completely dormant feminist side of me to go “ah come on now, this is just silly”. It also manages to cover plenty of other offensive bases like racism and glorification of violence. All those other wish-fulfilment harem, magical girlfriend, maid, super power, giant robot, chuunibyou fantasies shrivel in the wake of the amount of wish-fulfilment Sanctuary provides.

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47 Comments

  1. romulus
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    My feminist side is not so dormant so sexism is a big no-no for me, I often feel quite offended… There aren’t many perfect or near-perfect works in any media, are there? BTW Real starts off really nice, will see the rest after exams.

  2. decadyn
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Yep, Sanctuary has a much better reputation than it deserves, partly because of the art, and partly because its an older manga that is looked nostalgically upon by older fans. It reeks of 80s gangster movie clique and male chauvinism. I don’t actively promote feminism but its hard to not be frustrated at the commodification of women in the story. If you wanted, Sanctuary could be seen as a product of emasculated Japanese males who want to return to the time when “men were men.” The artist, IKEGAMI Ryoichi, did a lot of similar wish fulfillment mangas such as “Heat” and “Crying Freeman” which are even more repetitive. Sanctuary ultimately isn’t terrible, it just shouldn’t be considered a masterpiece.

    If you want to read even more stupid male wish fulfillment mangas, try “Akumetsu” and “Wolf Guy.” Similarly, they have good art but awful writing and female characters. Akumetsu has a good reputation as its similar to Death Note, but its mostly just nationalistic violent shit.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Yeah, that’s exactly what it feels like. In particular it feels like James Bond in the male chauvinism thing. James Bond has made an effort to move with the times. Meanwhile Sanctuary was only made in the 90s, not even that long ago, and feels embarrassingly backwards because of it

      • Ana
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Damn, that is just sad. From what you describe, it sounded like it was a work from the 80s or earlier. Though I guess if it was made by an older author…

        …doesn’t excuse the magazines that condone this kind of sexism. Bleeeeh.

    • Ana
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Hah! I thought I recognized Crying Freeman’s artstyle!

  3. Karry
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    “Because the manga is all politics, each chapter is usually just pages and pages of talking heads, with the occasional shot of someone opening a door or wielding a gun dramatically”

    That’s not just the genre, this guy in general has a very “dead”, very “still” art. It is photo-realistic, but not the kind of photos you take by walking out on the street, but the kind you take in a studio, carefully, prepared, after setting the lights for 3 hours. He doesnt “get” anatomy. He sure can draw it, but he doesnt get it.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      I do think that’s deliberate to fit the dramaticed version of the story, but I haven’t read his other work so you may be onto something

  4. Cirith
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Too bad the description sounded like it was a decent read, but that may be a bit too sexist for me. Also, male only stories more often have characters I don’t care about.

  5. Lazy
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Caring about sexism in manga nowadays is borderline stupid, but caring about sexism in a manga published more than 20 years ago is completely retarded.
    I’m not saying Sanctuary is a timeless masterpiece, but it’s still a god damn classic seinen from the 90′s. The characters are memorable, the plot is gripping and the art carries a great deal of details and intensity at the cost of being stiff sometimes.
    Sometimes you’ve got to forget to check your white male privilege to enjoy this wonderful tale of brotherhood, betrayal, violence and sex in the world of yakuza and japanese politics.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Caring about sexism in manga is stupid? Tell that to, oh, half of the population of the world.

      The characters aren’t memorable. Hojo and Asami are basically perfect so there’s no tension, which means the plot doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight. Normally sexism doesn’t bother me, as seen if you take a look at my favourite anime, but Sanctuary is so relentless and baffling in its sexism that it creates gaping plotholes. If it’s a classic, then it hasn’t aged well

    • Lazy
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Half the population? You’re seriously mistaken here, with manga there’s enough material to offend members of all genders and sexual orientations. Japan just tends to not care at all about those matters, that’s why it’s stupid to care about them.
      To imply that Sanctuary’s “relentless sexism” create plotholes is a little confusing, I have a hard time thinking about a more male dominated environment than the Yakuza and politics. Tonning down the sexism is what would have been creating plotholes.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        That’s how it always has been, so why care? Yeah ummm no, not a legit response.

        And I already pointed out the plotholes in the post. They were talking about changing the political landscape yet nobody for a second even considers women. That’s a pretty big plot hole

      • Cirith
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Silly, that isn’t a plothole. They obviously vote the same as their husbands.^^

      • Scamp
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Nah, they vote for the sexushii young men because gosh they are totemo sexushii desu

      • Lazy
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        The time period and cultural context are completely different but why care? Not a legit response either.
        It honestly feels like you’re complaning for the sake of complaining using sexism because it’s the hip thing to do these days.
        The “plotholes” you pointed out are ridiculous and reflect the fact that you can’t deal with the Japanese culture gap.
        Seriously, a Japanese seinen mangaka from the 90′s not including progressive feminist ideas in his Yakuza/political thriller is a plothole? Wow, just wow.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        So the ‘culture gap’ is that women in Japan literally can’t think for themselves? Gee, thanks for that

      • Cirith
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        Well it isn’t necessarily a plothole, the character might just consider woman voters unimportant and if the other politicians do too it isn’t a disadvantage for him. Now it would be stupid not to target half of the population, however don’t forget that in a sufficiently sexist society even woman might have problems voting for woman. (Though the first time a woman was a member of the diet was 1946 and sanctuary began 1990. So that doesn’t hold much water.)

  6. Walao
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    It’s actually not that bad. Try reading it yourselves before you sweep it under the rug because of Scamp’s habit of using harsh words.

  7. il-Palazzo
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Kinda weird that you complained about sexism without mentioning Tokai, whose gimmick seems to be “I rape all the chicks, all the time” and somehow is on the good guy’s side.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      pfft oh yeah him. I had to cut the review down quite a bit, but I feel my random references to shagging people’s wives and ladies captured his general spirit

  8. Mormegil
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Man, people on MAL always talk about this manga like it’s a masterpiece. In fact, I think Sanctuary has an exceptionally high rating there. It’s been on my plan-to-read list for a long time now, but after reading this review, I guess I’ll leave it there.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I read it because of its high MAL rating too. I was even impressed because it was an old manga so it was proof that the manga list hadn’t fallen to the same recency bias the anime list had. So much for that

      • Hanasra
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Probably the high rating is because the whole Yakuza thing make them feel badass (I admit, they does). And being (feel) badass tend to make somebody overlook glaring flaw.

        Oh, well, perhaps I should ask something else. Would you read Mushishi manga? I heard its good in it’s own way. Perhaps you could make make comparison between the anime and the original material.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        No. Watch the anime. Reading the Mushishi manga is like having someone describe a fireworks display to you rather than going to see it yourself

      • Hanasra
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Okay then :(
        *go into the the corner, waiting for Vinland Saga pieces

  9. jo
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Yeah ugh, tried to read this once because apparantly it was a “mature” manga with good art. Was v dissapointed when it turned out to be a piece of crap manga full of women as some kind of props and laughable treatment of politics (and everything else). The artist also seems to copy his own drawings a lot. Thanks for reviewing it the way it deserves :D

    • Scamp
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      The politics did improve to be fair. By about the 10th volume I was legitimately enthralled by the political warfare that was going on

  10. fathomlessblue
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    And yet somehow I still manage to find the sexism in something like Bakuman more offensive. I don’t know, with material like this which treats women as little other male play-things, my mind immediately dismisses & refuses to take it seriously or genuine. Of course, that presents its own problem, but at least I don’t have to get bogged down in the drama of a bunch of people I’m supposed to see as characters, even though their only/ultimate goal in life/evolution as a human being is to finally discover meaning & worth in that glorious, rose-tinted role of ‘The Housewife’. Man, my blood is boiling just thinking about it.

    But yeah, this is kind of a redundant conversation, equivalent of discussing which particular shit, left by a couple of drunken hobos on a lavatory floor, stinks the worst. Sanctuary, despite its interesting premise, doesn’t really interest me that much, even without the alpha male bs. I’d rather watch a similar live-action movie or show on HBO, than read a manga about it.

    So yeah, in summary; Tsugumi Ohba: fuck that guy!

    • Scamp
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      And yet I still love Death Note because I’m a hypocrite

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I tried not mention that. I didn’t want you censoring my post by saying Death Note was actually sh-THE GREATEST ANIME OF ALL TIME & EVERYONE NEEDS TO WATCH IT!

      • Scamp
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I’m not going to defend Death Note’s sexism. All I’ll say is it’s not in-your-face about it, so I only really noticed it when I took a step back and examined the piece as a whole. It’s only then that I really noticed how all of the women are defined by the men in their life.

        Again, not excusing it, but that’s why sexism never bugged me in Death Note, while Bakuman and Sanctuary are so direct about it that it did drag me out of the experience

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        I know, I’m only taking the mick here.

        Having re-watched Death Note recently, the sexism isn’t really prevalent for the most part. The investigation team happens to be all male, & you can sort excuse Misa’s attitude as part of her shallow personality. Also, although Ray Penber’s former FBI fiancée was expected to simply become a stay-at-home wife, she does show intelligence & resolve.

        I did find the sexism becoming far more apparent in the final arc, when Light is seducing his intelligent & ‘strong-willed’ college flame, but I see that as problematic, rather than completely damning like Bakuman & Sanctuary are. Ultimately it’s just a shame that a rather talented writer has such a narrow opinion on the female gender. Lack of experience, perhaps?

      • Hanasra
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Either lack of experience or twisted personal view on woman. The former mean he do it undeliberately, the latter mean he’s a chauvinist dick. We could wait for Ohba next manga, and see if it too would contain sexism or not.

      • Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        @fathomlessblue Sexism is pretty prevalent in anime as a whole when you stop and think about it. Often times, women are either portrayed as too weak (insert VN adaptation female here) or too strong (some of Miyazaki’s heroines) whilst men are either portrayed as too stupid (insert Yuuji Everylead) or too dominant (the guys in Sanctuary). Personally, as long as the characters have personality and have some self-awareness about their roles, I find it okay to swallow. One of my favorite movies, A Clockwork Orange, is pretty nasty towards women, but it kind of has to be in order to further its themes.

        The main times when sexism bothers me is in romance-centric anime, mostly because so many of them go for the white knight approach without any give or take (and if it’s a harem, double-so) to the point that no good characterization or themes can shine through. But I won’t elaborate on that any further considering I should keep that stuff to my own domain.

  11. Walao
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Gee, you people are taking this way too seriously. Seems to me like all of you are only focusing on the treatment of women while ignoring other good parts about the manga. Does it have to do with where you live putting emphasis on being politically-correct?

    • Hanasra
      Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Its not like Scamp ignore the good part. It just the whole sexism is so blatantly offensive or bad that it detract the good part of the manga. Sure, Yakuza culture is chauvinist as hell, but again in Ryu Ga Gotoku, or Yakuza game, there isn’t blatant sexism like the example Scamp showing here, so I think that couldn’t be an excuse.

      Also being serious is another way of having fun.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        What they said. I normally don’t care too much about sexism, but the treatment of women is so blargh to the point that it would drag me out of the experience at least once every other chapter.

        And to stop people saying this, no I am not focusing on being politically correct for brownie points or something stupid like that. This is legit criticism of why I didn’t enjoy this manga that much.

      • Walao
        Posted May 31, 2013 at 3:22 am | Permalink

        I don’t quite get it.

        This is the Otaku fandom, you know. Most females in stories are portrayed as such and such just to fill the necessary stereotypes for a harem or whatever.

        The treatment of males isn’t necessarily better either… just look at the amount of Yuji Everylead.

        Sorry to say but… I don’t get you and most of the comments.

        P.S. Oh, I was also more disturbed by the females in Death Note. Probably because of their sheer stupidity… and serving as little more than Light’s playthings.

      • Cirith
        Posted May 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        What is your point? That many mangas and animes are sexists (and homophobic and racist) to some degree? That it is widespread doesn’t make it a positive or mandatory feature. Or do you wonder why it’s tolerated in other works? Well it’s a matter of degree, I’m capable of ignoring and tolerating it like other faults the work may have. However at a certain level it simply is so grating that it detracts from the rest.

        (Also Yuji everylead? That is a bland character type, not a sexist one. I guess you could make some meta argument based on the prevalence. But just because something is a standard character type doesn’t mean it’s ***-ist against some group. No offense but I think you don’t have a very good understanding of the thematic.)

      • Walao
        Posted May 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Hey, I never said “sexism” and “homophobia” and “racism” in otaku entertainment is “positive” and “mandatory”.

        I admit that comment was not written with much forethought as I only wanted to convey my disconnect with how Scamp and most of you feel regarding the treatment of women in Sanctuary.

        However, there is still too much of a mind-gap between what I typed and how you are accusing me of condoning “sexism” in anime and manga.

        I apologize if you unavoidably misinterpret my meaning due to my sloppy writing as English is not my primary language.
        I can also understand if the factor you took offense at how I phrased it is due to a difference in upbringing environment and experiences but if that is the case, you do not have any right to force me into your point of view.

        Or if maybe you had a bad day or just a sudden mood-swing, misconstrued my words and therefore bore down on me… well… all I can say, is fuck you/

      • Cirith
        Posted May 31, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Force it on you? In what way am I forcing anything on you? I simply explained something, and while you seem to be I wasn’t angry in any way. (Though I guess you could read it that way.)
        Also I didn’t say you said it’s mandatory or good, it’s just the reason that it isn’t all that relevant that this is a manga.

      • Walao
        Posted June 1, 2013 at 3:56 am | Permalink

        Yup, I was pretty angry alright. As I said, I did not write that comment with any shred of ill-intent whatsoever and suddenly out of nowhere you pulled a fast one on me, implying I condone discrimination against not only the opposite sex but also among homosexuals and foreign ethnic groups(which wasn’t even in the discussion). Who wouldn’t be?

        Me implying you forcing views on me was actually meant as future tense, in case you were the type to do that(worse yet, with the tone you used) if this argument gets drawn out. I have my share of unpleasant and sour experiences with this, believe me. This is the internet after-all and I am just not smart enough to guess your true nature with words alone.

      • Cirith
        Posted June 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        I tend to answer to the possible forms an argument can take no matter what I assume the other side probably means and assuming the argument is thought out, (it’s faster that way): You talked about this being the otaku fandom mentioned the treatment of female characters and for that reason you couldn’t understand the others posting.
        Only 2 directions make sense: “You watch animes and mangas, so you look over similar things in other works, why not for this one” or “Sexism is normal for animes and mangas that means you shouldn’t judge it negatively (similar to how it doesn’t make sense to judge historical persons based on modern morals)” and I answered both.
        (btw since my answer to the second one is probably what you are reacting to: Another way I could have written it is “It’s still a negative feature one can complain about.”
        Racism and homophobia were just a side note about other common negative elements.)

        Btw I admit that there was one part of my answer where I was slightly annoyed: the Yuji Everylead thing, because it reminds me of the old false equivalence+misdirection dance which is all to common in this kind of topics.

      • Walao
        Posted June 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        Eh, I guess I worded the “Yuji Everylead” part poorly. Flawfinder’s comment just above is pretty close to what I meant to say.

        “You watch animes and mangas, so you look over similar things in other works, why not for this one”

        First off, if you’re asking if I overlook sexism in anime and manga then I can only answer probably. If it can grab my attention from start to finish, naturally it will slip past my eyes. Sanctuary was entertaining but not enough that I forget dear Mr. Tokai liked forced sex. Aside from that, the points Scamp and others mentioned hardly registered on my radar. I never cared about politics, let alone female politicians.

        “Sexism is normal for animes and mangas that means you shouldn’t judge it negatively(similar to how it doesn’t make sense to judge historical persons based on modern morals)”

        I did not say that. You can judge all you want. When I dive into a story expecting to be entertained, I don’t see to need of nitpicking every single thing and leaving myself in a foul mood.

        Also, I don’t have a clear-cut understanding on the subject of sexism like you guys seem to do. If you replace it with racism or even better yet bullying then yes I do.

        See, the point I wanted to make was I didn’t rage like most of you did while reading Sanctuary, not demanding an intricate explanation or refuting you guys for thinking that way. I didn’t even really care when you call me sexist or whatever, just angry that someone somewhere caught me off guard and pulled a fast one on me, making me an ass.

        Now that I think about it, I guess I must apologize for leading you on an argument about a topic meaningless to me. You were entirely focused on it while I just assumed you wanted to pick a fight, like mismatched wavelengths. Sorry for that.

        In short, different tastes/senses = invalid argument

      • Cirith
        Posted June 2, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        Eh alright, let’s just drop it. Also I should apologize for appearing hostile, I tend to be curt and sometimes a bit sarcastic when getting in discussions. So I probably come across a tad aggressive.

        (About knowing about sexism, that is mostly a side effect of hanging around a forum with people who talk about stuff like that.^^ )

  12. gw_kimmy
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    your summary sounds like a recommendation piece i once read for the american tv series Mad Men.

    ……..

    *runs for the hills*

  13. MysteryMansome
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    I recommend the soon-to-finish Gantz. The anime wasn’t all that good, but the manga is definitely an awesome read. Especially early in the story. It’s dang fine for most of its run. But it kind of falters somewhere around 300 or so (might have been before/later on, can’t quite remember), but the earlier volumes are definitely worth checking out. Just reading the first 20 or so chapters should give you a good feel for the manga overall. The chapters aren’t too long, so it shouldn’t take too much time to read. If you don’t enjoy it by then, you can safely drop it.

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