March Story takes place in 18th century Europe, where demons named Ill inhabit jewelry and other trinkets that will attract the notice of greedy humans. Once a human touches the evil trinket, the demon possesses the human and together, they get into all sorts of bloody mayhem, usually involving serial killing. There are, however, those who hunt Ill, known as the Ciste Vihad.
March is one of these hunters, traveling from town to town to track down Ills and the victims of their demonic antiques. In this first volume, readers follow March on three adventures plus a final story that reveals March’s own beginnings.
In the first adventure, the search for the missing half of a pair of moon shaped earrings leads March to a village circus and to Pircollet, the ringmaster’s daughter. Pircollet is a kind, but clumsy clown who secretly aspires to be a trapeze artist.
In the second adventure, March is called to a mysterious town where everyone must wear masks or risk being killed by “the dancer of terror.”
In the third adventure, March tries to save a young man named Dilly, only to discover the Ill’s real mission in possessing the spoiled young boy.
The final story in the volume features a terrifying Elizabeth Bathory-like character named Lady Janjaghee.
The artwork in this manwha series is stunning and features fantastic although violent and bloody action sequences. At times, I feel that some series cheat a little on action sequences – eschewing detail for add more sound effects, action effects or victims – but this series does not. The entire book is gorgeously rendered, the pacing is brisk, and the tragic yet compelling stories draw the reader in.
Many of the scenes, including some of the action sequences, have extremely horrific and gory backgrounds and there is some full frontal nudity. These factors, however, will probably add to its popularity among adult readers. The plot itself is not very complex, but still entertaining, and March’s story will surely leave readers wanting to know what happens next.
This series would appeal to fans of horror manga or manwha, Elizabeth Bathory, Dexter, and/or Hannibal Lecter.
March Story, vol. 1
by Hyung Min Kim
Art by Kyung Il Yang
Viz Media, 2010
Publisher Age Rating: Mature