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Priest 15: Dirge for the Unwanted by Min-Woo Hyung
Review by Gayle Surrette
TokyoPop Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 1591825164
Date: 31 October, 2006 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Priest 15: Dirge for the Unwanted continues the tale of Ivan Isaac who now has wounds that will not heal. But it's basically focused on Nera, who used to be the angel Netraphim, the Guardian of Windtale. Nera and her caravan of misfits and injured have settled outside the town and begin, with the help of Ashley (the Mayor's son) building a house. They work hard and are almost finished when the Mayor sends his enforcers to burn it down. In the debacle that follows Nera realizes that she cannot save anyone as a fragile human.

Beginning a manga with book 15 is like trying to figure out a soap opera that's been running for years by just watching one episode. The story line may seem intriguing but without knowing how the characters are related and interacting it's hard to get a true feel for the story. However, there are bits of help and I've noticed this in other books. There's usually a story so far or in this case a short synopsis of each previous book.

The reason I even attempted to read the story was that flipping through the artwork caught my eye and I found myself stopping to read a page or two. Eventually, I started at the beginning and read through it. There's the cast of characters, a picture/drawing with a short bio of each main character, the story so far and then this current chapter. The drawings are black and white; at times very stylized and at other times quite heavy with textural elements. The art carries the story forward as often there are drawings with no text, but the drawing itself conveys a feeling or a sense of what's being imparted to your unconscious.

The story itself seems to be about family, love, values and truth. Sometimes the people you think are supposed to be the good guys aren't and vise versa. I'm sure if I was more familiar with previous episodes I'd have a lot more to say.

After the episode there is a side story that seems to be a bit of back fill. My guess would be that it's a bit that you might need for episode 16 but I'm still learning the forms here. Also this one is read as we traditionally read comics in the US from front to back and left to right.

I'm intrigued with this one.

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