Manga Reviews

Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro Volume 5 Review

Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro is a dense, gradually unfolding story that has open story threads tracing all the way back to volume 1. Best to start reading there.


Kuro’s travels with Ninjuku, Sanju, and Sen continue as Kuro remains on the trail of the witch Hifumi.

Wow. Just wow. Given how impressive the series has been up to this point, I’m continually amazed at Kiyuduki’s ability to push things even further. The stories here are all firmly focused on Kuro and/or the witch she’s tracking, with significant insight into both. Kuro’s entourage and the various people they meet along the way are of course present and important, but this time they’re there specifically to help shine the spotlight on the stories of the manga’s main protagonist and antagonist rather than bask in it themselves.

It’s a nice payoff for the readers who have been patiently waiting for more background on that key relationship, and is the perfect time to share some of it.  As always every answered question requires a lot of effort to fully process as well as raising even more mysteries, but my goodness do we get some huge reveals in this volume. I am literally having to force myself to withhold further detail to avoid spoilers because there is so much to talk about here.

I’ve waited nearly two years for this newest volume of Kuro’s adventures, and am pleased to say it was more than worth it. Kiyuduki’s enigmatic, multi-layered tale makes the reader work to fully appreciate it, but rewards those who do with a fascinating world filled with compelling characters and evolving mysteries that provide enough to satisfy while always teasing the next surprise and providing enticement to continue along. I hope the next installment comes quicker, but let’s be honest: I’m happy to wait as long as it takes without complaint for this level of excellence.

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