THE TURNAROUND BLOG

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts – Graphic Novel Spotlight

9781942993414

From the creators of the hit horror series Dusk Maiden of Amnesia comes a new fantasy adventure featuring monster hunters in a dystopian future.

During a protracted civil war that pitted the North against the South, the outnumbered Northerners used dark magic to create monstrous super-soldiers called Incarnates. Now that the war has ended, those Sacred Beasts must learn to make their way in a peaceful society, or face death at the hands of a Beast Hunter. Nancy Schaal Bancroft, the daughter of an Incarnate, turns to hunting the hunter herself. But once she catches up with her quarry, she discovers hard truths about the lives of these Sacred Beasts.

Monster hunting is an established trope of many manga series, whether it be by swords or guns, and for the most part, these monsters in whatever form they take are usually highly disposable and act as fodder to the heroes of the story. To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts goes in quite a different direction. The monsters that are now hunted by the Beast Hunters were created by the Northerners to help them in the war against the South. Once they had served their purpose, Incarnates became feared by their creators and fellow northerners to the point where they are looked down upon for their monstrous appearances and the powers they possess and hunted by humanity. After so many series where the monsters are a menace to society and are routinely slaughtered by the heroes, it is quite a refreshing site to see a series where the perceived monsters that are hunted are actually not out to mindlessly slaughter humanity and that the people who persecute them are responsible for their creation.

Beyond this quite fresh take, there are plenty of other great things to enjoy in this series. Nancy makes for a great protagonist as she can’t quite commit herself to the façade of vengeful heroine she wants to be when she initially seeks to avenge her father, and Hank is an intriguing figure with an especially great introduction (it’s not often that after being shot at, you apologise to the people around you and run away with your attacker). It will be interesting to see how this pair will continue to function as Nancy sets out to find out the circumstances of her father’s death and just how culpable Hank is. The art is also strong with some great action sequences and layouts, along with great character designs for Nancy and especially for the Incarnates who look equally terrifying and regal at the same time.

This is well worth checking out if you want a quality action series with a fresh take on an established trope in the manga world.

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Vol 1 is published 19 May by Vertical

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