Title: The Executioner And Her Way Of Life Vol. 1 Manga
Author: Mato Sato
Release Date: October 18, 2022
Publisher: Yen Press
There’s been a handful of excellent light novel series adapted to manga over the years. Some work, while others don’t make the transition well. I was skeptical of the manga version of The Executioner and Her Way of Life, given the profound lore and character interactions depicted in the light novel. However, The Executioner and Her Way of Life Vol. 1 shows us that fans have so much to look forward to in terms of high fantasy action with a dash of yuri.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life Vol. 1 begins with a significant twist that will likely be on your mind for the remainder of the volume. We are introduced to a Priestess name Menou who is tasked with gathering Lost Ones; people brought to her world from another world. Along with her assistant, Momo, the two work together to gain information on the subjects and eventually execute them. The manga wastes no time showing its action side with a rather bloody fight in the early moments. However, the plot doesn’t exactly develop until Menou meets a Lost One named Akari, who has the power of healing and can’t be killed by normal means.
Due to this, Menou and Momo set off on a pilgrimage to ultimately get Akari to a place where she can be dealt with. During this time, Akari is in the dark about things, but events and situations, including a dream, make their relationship out to be something more than just a chance meeting. In fact, you might even call it fate. The panels depict this through the way the two interact and the trust that Akari has in Menou. It’s only mentioned briefly, but Menou’s plan is going too well.
The Manga adaptation takes some liberties in getting the characters from one scene to the next. As a result, there are some jarring time jumps, but it does keep the pacing up. Still, it’s hard to trust Akari based on her actions entirely, but I don’t think the author intended this. Further, this volume is primarily action-focused, leaving little time to feel comfortable with this universe’s rules and lore. It may confuse some readers about what characters are referring to, but conversations do double back on topics if only to clarify the events and create a firm timeline.
As for the art, I feel like a lot of detail was put into what matters, character expressions. Although Akari is clumsy, her admiration for Menou shows during each panel. The same can be said for Momo, who has a range of expressions depending on her mood. It offers an incredible range of Ryo Mitsuya and nilitsu. This doesn’t seem like an easy adaption, but the pacing holds your attention. It is assisted by the beautiful illustrations, especially during the combat scenes that sometimes take up four pages.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life Vol. 1 has a lot of explaining in terms of lore and rules, but we get the gist of Menou’s objective and her plans. Considering the cliffhanger ending, there’s a lot of action to look forward to, but there’s also the lingering feeling that her meeting with Akari is more than a chance encounter.
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