REVIEW: The Love and Creed of Sae Maki Chapter 5 (2015)

A manga by Tohru Uchimizu

When going into this last chapter of volume one of The Love and Creed of Sae Maki by Tohru Uchimizu, I knew that we were about to see some crazy stuff, but little did I know exactly how crazy things were going to get. Misao’s new acquaintance, Kokai, went to tons of trouble orchestrating what could be essentially considered a “hit” on Sae Maki in the previous chapter. For those new to these reviews, this was done to hopefully end a reign of terror in which Sae Maki has obsessively taken over the life of her classmate Misao. Similar girls have suffered cruel fates to Sae Maki in the past, and Kokai is trying to stop that at all costs. This plan involved propositioning a terrifying mountain of a man, a former incarcerated gang member, to do some dirty work for them. He was delivered “anonymous” information on the identity of a person that attacked members of his gang and left them for dead. This was, of course, Sae Maki who was seemingly a very adept fighter despite her stature. She was able to take on multiple men, much larger than herself, and seemingly waste no time wiping the floor with them. It is not until about halfway through this book that we learn the real truth about Sae Maki‘s combat prowess, and it actually makes her that much more terrifying.

“Misao is a high school girl who is terrible at making friends. One day, she’s saved from her loneliness by Sae, whose academics, athleticism, and even appearance are “perfect.” But Sae’s idea of friendship is a little distorted…As the story moves on, Misao is trapped by Sae, who controls Misao as she pleases. Feeling that her life is in danger, Misao and Kokai, a young man who vows to save her, strategize ways to release Misao from Sae’s control.”

When cornered with almost certain death, Sae Maki uses her phone to call back-up – a terrifying man (?) in a mascot costume that somewhat resembles a poorly made Doraemon suit. This person is able to get the upper hand on Sae’s assailants, and dispatches them like yesterday’s garbage. While it should not particularly hurt Misao that Sae has survived, there is one glaring issue – Sae is fully aware of being set-up, and since Misao is the only one that knew where she was, it’s pretty obvious that she’s in on something nefarious. The question going into this next volume is – does Sae have any idea on who Kokai is? If so, what is everyone’s next moves? Will Misao be treated worse now that this revelation has occurred? These questions are enough to keep me reading more, and while I have a theory as to whom occupies the cat man suit, it will be interesting to see how the fact Sae has a hitman under her employ plays out.

This book was released in an odd way that many manga readers may not be used to. This manga is published by Akita Publishing Co.,Ltd. directly to the US market via digital sales on Amazon, which is the same format used for comics like Creature (another by them) and Lockdown Zone Level X, which I also have been reviewing on here. I have stated in past reviews that I actually like this delivery method because I don’t have a ton of room to be buying manga paperbacks all the time, and it’s easier to tell if I will like something or not with a few chapters at a lower price. It’s a great alternative to succumbing to pirate “scan-lation” companies that generally are not that good at what they do and steal money from the creators. I am always saying that if the content is available in this region for a reasonable price, I’d rather get it legitimately versus stealing it.

The Love and Creed of Sae Maki by Tohru Uchimizu has gone from something akin to a stalker story to something far more insane, bordering on the intrigue found in the popular manga Death Note. I have a feeling we are about to see a “cat and mouse” game between Sae and Kokai with Misao caught in the middle. I can’t imagine that Kokai has much leverage at all, and I fear that he may not be too long for this world. All Sae Maki has to do is threaten Misao’s family or something, and I can’t see her holding to her loyalty much at all. Check back in soon for more The Love and Creed of Sae Maki, one of my surprise hits these past few years. And if you are looking for where to get this, the book is available in a chapter-by-chapter format on Amazon. Check it out and tell me what you think!


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