It’s been more than two years since I left this blog and personally it’s been months since I read any manga. Some time ago I stumbled upon Y+M a.k.a. Y10M. Turns out this manga was made by the author of Basilisk; one of my all-time favorite manga. I just had to read it –and then I decided to post a new review for this blog.
Y10M is a bit far from what I expected. In the 5 volume Basilisk, you can feel the tension immediately from the start. In Y10M, however, it takes 3 volumes for me to actually feel the thrill from reading this manga. The biggest difference between Y10M and Basilisk is that in Y10M, the two groups that are destined to kill each other are not equal enemies. We have to super-ninja groups in Basilisk, while in Y10M, we have 7 (seven) ordinary women going against trained bodyguards –or perhaps assassins?– called the Seven Spears of Aizu (Aitzu). This is the point that made Y10M worth the read. It is definitely interesting to see how these women manage to kill the Seven Spears.
Because of the huge difference in martial art skills between the two groups, the story in Y10M tends to have more “strategy” and less head-to-head fighting. Having a skilled warrior, Juubei, by their side to train them, the 7 women still don’t have the slightest chance of defeating the Seven Spears head on. It’s the strategy which Juubei and the 7 ordinary women devised to defeat (and ultimately kill) the Seven Spears that made this manga interesting.
As I said before, it starts from volume 4. This is the point where things that was going smoothly for the 7 women started to crumble. Well, you can’t expect things to go so smooth when you’re going up against 7 trained assassins, right? Starting from volume 4, the Seven Spears finally made their moves. This is when things get really exciting. To see both groups devising their plans and counter each other’s plans made it hard for me to stop reading.
As the plot progress, the clash escalates with the Ashina clan (whom the Seven Spears belong to) entering the picture. Juubei and the women are now facing more than just the Seven Spears –or what’s left of them. The scope of the story grows broader from taking the lives of the Seven Spears into taking down the Ashina clan and the Aizu castle along with them. This is yet another big difference from Basilisk.
That being said, there are a lot of things that made this manga a recommended piece. The fact that the main protagonists are 7 ordinary women already made this manga interesting. Even though the plot starts a bit slow, the tension builds up perfectly making it less boring and stayed interesting throughout the story; especially with Ashina clan entering the picture. Apart from killing and devising strategies, this manga is also about bravery and making sacrifices. This is indeed a recommended manga to read –if you don’t mind some vulgar scenes getting in the way.