The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Gravel Kingdom

Title: Gravel Kingdom.
Genre: Thriller/Drama.
Format: 1 Volume.
Mangaka: Kaori Yuki.

Synopsis: Prince Kirameki met Saga eight years ago, a sand biter, people that live in the desert and the eternal enemies of the Kingdom Of Time, the Kingdom Prince Kirameki is destined to rule. But that day eight years ago, Saga promised that he will return to play again with the Prince. Now in the present day, Saga has return to fulfill his oath, but that is not all that Saga wants. He wants to bring down the Kingdom Of Time, to bury it in sand in vengeance for his mother, killed by the people of the Kingdom. Now Prince Kirameki and his friends, Worry; a priestess and Kanai; his servant, must defend the Kingdom Of Time at all costs, before it is eaten by the sand.

The Highlights
Art: Not as clean as other of her works, although not bad.
Characters: Could have accomplished more.
Theme: It works somehow.

One of Kaori Yuki’s first works, thus one of the least known of her. This shows of in every aspect about this manga. The art, atmosphere, characters, story and her traditional out-of-nowhere-but-still-great plot twists, not that any of these are bad, not at all, but they aren’t her best, although they aren’t as bad as Blood Hound or Neji. While the setting is too darn unique, even for a Kaori Yuki manga, the whole thing between the Kingdom Of Time and the Sand People had me interested more than average, sadly there isn’t too much to learn about them and about their relation to each other, well, not more than average.

While the art is somewhat crude, it is still above average. Yet this hurts the manga greatly, mainly because one of the strong points of any manga that I have read so far by Kaori Yuki has had great art. Sure it was one of her first, but the lack of a lot of brush-ups is not to remain unseen and kept a secret. As of the characters, well, the length of the manga (1 volume) didn’t offer much space or time for them, yet it manages to be just enough to understand their actions and their ways to fulfill their objectives, but don’t expect an amazing amount of development or background for the characters, expect the enough amount.

The story is your traditional “vengeance for this, vengeance for that” and it manages to work somehow. Yet it doesn’t work as much as in other stories, mainly because the surprise factor was not present and while the plot twist was, so were the clues to the plot twists, meaning; no surprise.

Even when it was one of Kaori Yuki’s first works it doesn’t mean that I have to overlook its flaws. Gravel Kingdom has its up and downs, but the great amount of downs buried this one in the sand.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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