First Impressions: Immortal Hounds (Manga – Volume 1)

Immortal Hounds has to be one of the goriest manga I have read in a while. Limbs fly everywhere as bullet fill bodies with gaping holes and blood splatters all over the floors and walls. The only thing with Immortal Hounds is that as the title suggests, nearly everyone is immortal. So even though characters might suffer multiple lethal wounds throughout  a chapter, within seconds they are “revived” leaving them in perfect condition. Wounds are healed leaving no trace that there ever was one to begin with. It’s a pretty handy ability for a society to have, if only everyone could do it.

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Published By: Vertical Comics

Story and Art By: Ryo Yasoachi

Being virtually immortal solves all kinds of pesky problems the normal world faces. If you ever become severely injured and disfigured, just kill yourself and go back to being good as new. Pesky flu got you feeling miserable and stuck in bed? Take a bullet to the dome and wake up a few seconds later full of energy and completely healthy. In this alternate world where death is never permanent, these are real things that happen on a daily basis. Health issues are virtually unheard of, because by simply reviving you can be back to your regular old self in seconds. The only thing that this ability doesn’t protect you from is old age, so a natural death is inevitable for everyone.

There is one other way someone can die though, and that is through a disease called Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome (RDS). If someone carries this disease, they can’t resurrect when killed. These people are called vectors in this world and are hunted down like animals for fear of the disease spreading to others, but the vectors are not alone. To help protect them are the escape artists, who help the vectors escape police and members of the Anti-Vector Task Force (a special unit hunting down the vectors). When an escape artist shows up though, you can expect bullets (and limbs) to fly.

The escape artist’s are apart of a secret organization that protect the vectors, and holy crap do they do a good job. The fly in on the scene from out of no where guns blazing, wounding everyone in sight that is a danger to the vector but ensuring that they don’t die (so they cannot trigger their resurrection and be back to normal). Not much information was given on the escape artist’s and the organization they work for in this first volume, leaving a lot to explore in future chapters. All we really know is that they are the ones who protect vectors and rescue them when the investigators are on their tail, as well as some other more spoilery things that are shown later on in the volume.

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So now that I have the general set-up for this manga covered, let’s move on to my thoughts. I really liked the pacing of this first volume, as it was always moving forward and showing off lots of action. It was able to give us enough information about the world to give us a decent understanding on how everything works without stalling out into long sections of dialogue. I also really liked the fighting scenes that involved the escape artist’s, as they were incredibly fun to read. The escape artists are insanely well equipped with weapons (almost to a comedic degree, such as a scene where she hauls out a rocket launcher while riding a car) making these scenes a blast to read through. Those who enjoy a nice and gory action series will also enjoy these scenes, since Yasoachi cuts no corners in making sure each of these scenes is full of blood and gore.

If I had one complaint about the first volume it would be that we really don’t get a good feel of many of the characters or their pasts. Right now, the main cast feel more like a bunch of cliches then unique and interesting characters. The main escape artist we follow is a typical “raised to be a killer” type of character. She is cold, calculating, and doesn’t show emotion very well. At work she expects everything to be done perfectly, and when she is fighting is a killing (or injuring in this case?) machine. The main detective we follow is a “cool guy with a grudge” often doing things off the books in order to get revenge on the vectors for killing his sister (she had caught RDS from one of them). A cop going after revenge isn’t very interesting or unique, so hopefully future chapters will expand a bit on his character. The final chapter of this volume hints at possibly showing us a more intimate and vulnerable side of these two characters, something that could be cool to see with characters of their nature. Whether or not that happens or not is yet to be seen by me as of yet.

In the end, I thought Immortal Hounds was a pretty fun read. It has lots of action that kept me interested from beginning to end. It’s nothing groundbreaking from what this first volume showed me, but you could do a lot worse for a new action series. It’s a fun read that doesn’t show signs of slowing down, so give it a shot and let me know what you thought of it.

Recommendation: Read It

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