by Anna Surette,

Shaolin Sisters

Shaolin Sisters
Julin Kenga has always believed she was an orphan and an only child. On her fifteenth birthday she learns otherwise. While Julin and her best friend Kio are at the market, the dojo where she lives is attacked by the White Queen Bai Wang, and her master is fatally wounded. Before dying, Master Yoh tell Julin that her father is still alive and that she has two older sisters. What's more, Bai Wang was after Julin, not master Yoh. Julin must find her sisters and discover the mystery behind their father before Bai Wang gets to them first.
Volume one of Shaolin Sisters is a confusing array of action and information, but the action doesn't satisfy and the information fails to answer any questions the reader may have about the characters. And for a martial arts manga, it fails to adequately address the different forms of martial arts that are presented. Each character seems only to have one forte, and the main character occasionally will have one good move, that she will just beat to death trying to use over and over again. It doesn't take long to get sick of Julin and her naïveté. The manga-ka attempts to incorporate drama and humor, but fails to do a very good job of meshing the two. The drama throughout most of the manga seems to be superficial and the use of a super tiny bunny who carries around a first aid kit is just out of place.

Furthermore, the introduction of new characters is weak, as many characters are brought in and very little is done with them. Development-wise, all the characters have rather dull and predictable personalities that seem to all be comprised of stock traits. Nothing in this story seems to be innovative nor does it accomplish any attachment to any of the characters on the reader's part. As easy as stock characters are to use in a story as this, there is little done to develop them beyond their initial stage.

Artistically, the characters are very well drawn, but not much attention is paid to the background, leaving many of the frames with characters that seem to be standing in empty space. All in all, this manga is mediocre at best. Although recomended for ages seven and up, the semi-nudity and bloody death scenes seem to be a little harsh for a seven-year-old. Unfortunately it's too serious for younger readers and too simple for more mature readers, in the end this manga is perhaps only recomendable for children around the ages of ten to fifteen.
Production Info:
Overall : C
Story : C
Art : C
Story & Art: Narumi Kakinouchi

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