Thwip!’s Manga Mondays – Bokko

It’s Monday folks! Which means we talk about a favorite manga of ours and why you all should read it – this week’s Manga Monday is all about Sentaro Kubota and Hideki Mori’s Bokko.

This time here at Thwip! we decided to go way old school and talk about a manga that very heard of and was from the dark days of the ’90s – Kubota and Mori’s adaptation of Ken’ichi Sakemi’s novel Bokko.

Bokko was a fantastic read because it had a unique combination of violence and intelligence.

The set up is simple and intriguing as well – in ancient China, there is a clan of men called Bokk who were trained to aid and defend cities that have been threatened, so basically they were peace-loving mercenaries. The story follows Kakuri as he starts of defending some no-nothing city called Ryo.

Kakuri is a tiny bald dude, looks like he can barely do anything himself, but yet the entire city’s defense is put in his hands. No one trusts him, he is a little bit harsh (but actually within reason) and basically he is going to have an uphill battle defending the city from the emperor and making the idiots in the city trust him enough to do so.

The manga is equal parts violent action and legit strategic thinking, with Kakuri using his smaller size, limited resources, and a bit of technical know-how to ensure that he comes out victorious.

Unfortunately, that was the emperor whose nose he just tweaked, and so the remaining volumes are all about how Kakuri keeps coming out on top (sometimes barely so) through cunning and violence and just how brains can triumph over brawn (but having brawn helps). The stakes become increasingly higher and the places he needs to defend, much more difficult to handle, ratcheting up the tension.

All in all a fine read of a manga that many, if not most, people have never heard of – so go on, be smug and elitist and read something a little non-mainstream 😉


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