Mao, Vol. 3 – Exploring Mao’s Past

I kind of like the fact that I am enjoying this manga. It feels like a very specific version of Rumiko Takahashi’s vision that just works for me. I say that despite the fact that there are so many other pieces of Rumiko’s work that I haven’t dived into as much. This one has just really clicked with me and I like being able to read one volume after another and another into this continuing journey of Mao and Nanoko from the past. It feels very refined and personal somehow. Maybe because it has a bit of a smaller cast to make the story more personal. Its kind of hard to tell and knowing why I like something does matter. Sometime, I will figure out as I read more Mao.

To get a bit more context into this volume, a person would have to read volumes 1 and 2. Because Mao encounters Byoki and they fight out it. This was after Tokyo was destroy by the earth quake that ruptured the city in 1923. He was released and that small encounter between Mao and Byoki was intense. Especially out of that encounter came how Nanoka has some of Byoki’s blood and her own backstory from that too. It really was some of the best sort of tension in how it could be created through tension and story telling at the same time. It really blew me away. Well, I discovered my reason for liking this manga series one paragraph later. It’s just good. Yeah, that’s all the reason that is needed.

I like how after that encounter, because its not going to be finished in volume 3 right, that poked at identity. Mao’s identity, Nanoka’s grandparents identity, and so many other things. Mao ran into one of the people he trained with and Mao was accused of killing their master’s daughter and we don’t know if he did that or not. It creates something new by seeing the trust worthy Mao that we’ve seen so for has been very official and trustworthy. What is this other side that we haven’t seen. Its tied into the ending moment when the figure that has been causing havok in Tokyo isn’t who people would expect it to be. Another great moment of tension that really sells the identity crisis. Really provides the whole manga with so many good things that I can’t help but say I really enjoy.

Then there are so many smaller moments that really bring in the natural feeling of this manga in general. As in there is so much life in it for so many small moments there as well. Like Nanoka had a boy in her room in the current time period when figuring out something about the demons of the past. Or just the small moments of seeing Tokyo being rebuilt when Mao taking a lot of efforts into it. I mean, this manga is very polished anyway. It just really feels like hitting the right moments there as well. I guess I have not much else to say then I will see you when I read Volume 4 at some point. I am really excited to see it when it comes out. I really do like this manga.

You can order this manga without you find an outlet that works for you right here: Link


  1. One of the many reasons I love Rumiko Takahashi’s work is the wonderful little details that just draw you in and build a complete world for the reader. I Haven’t read the Mao series yet, but I really have been looking forward to it. Thank you for these posts so I can get little snippets of the series until I can get my hands on the manga!

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