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Grace Rosa Review

Updated: Apr 8


Volume cover for the manga Grace Rosa by Himuro.

Publisher Summary


Grace Rosa is an assassin, driven by a single thing: discovering the secret of her adoptive father’s disappearance. He trained her to become a lethal killing machine, able to wield any weapon she can get her hands on, before inducting her into the ranks of the shadowy organization known as Alterna. But could the very people she serves as a hired gun have something to do with him vanishing? And to what lengths will she go to enact her vengeance on the people who have wronged her?


Author: Himuro

Translator(s): Motoko Tamamuro & Jonathan Clements

Letterer: Tom Williams


I received a copy of Grace Rosa as an Advanced Review Copy from Titan Manga in exchange for an honest review.


Background

 

Grace Rosa is a series that ran in Tokuma Shoten's (now owned by Coamix) Comic Zenon magazine in 2020. While labeled as volume 1, this series is only a single volume. The series was cancelled after this volume in Japan.


Titan Manga licensed the series in English in August 2023. I was interested in the series when I saw the license announcement. I'm a fan of assassin or criminal underground themed series like this one, so I was looking forward to checking it out.


Review

 

The art is very detailed. The style reminds me of such manga series as Gangsta or Black Lagoon. Himuro captures the gritty criminal underworld well in their style.


The action scenes are easy to follow. You can easily track Rosa's movements during her fight scenes. The double-page spreads of shootouts are great! The detail of the sound effects, the paneling, backgrounds, and character designs during the shootouts are top notch! Himuro captured the chaos and brutality that one would see in an action movie.



Rosa ambushing two traffickers she's contracted to kill.


Rosa is a cleaner for a secret organization. A cleaner is an assassin that is deployed to tie up loose ends. She's looking for her mentor and parental figure Rogan, who went missing 5 years ago. Since his disappearance, she has been working for the same secret organization Rogan was a member of to get leads to his whereabouts.

Rosa killing two mob members as part of her contract.


The story is very straightforward and episodic with the only connecting tissue being that Rosa is looking for Roger. It doesn't start going into the overarching plot until the final 2 chapters of the series. This is one of the weak points in the series.


Towards the end of the series, more humor is introduced. It's a little disorientating given that most of the story has been tonally serious. It would have been better if humorous scenes were introduced in the first or second chapter. I will say that the humorous scenes scenes


None of the characters stand out. Rosa is our lead and her uniqueness is just eating a lot, which they establish the reason early so it's not really played as humorous. Since the series has a small cast, Rosa's lack of personality shows through more. I think if this story was given more time, Rosa would get more character development.


This leads into the next observation: the series cancellation. I wasn't sure if the series was cancelled or not until I went to research the status of the series after reading the last chapter. The final chapter gave heavy implications that the series had been cancelled. I could tell because the climatic event is told to the reader after it happens. It was an event that was built up in the second to last chapter and the reader gets none of the payoff. The reader is left with an open ending.


Final Thoughts

 

If you enjoy a quick, action-fest, bullet-hell like John Wick, you'll enjoy this series. However, the lead character suffers from not having much of a personality and the reader is told the story payoff after it occurs off-screen and left with an open ending.


Verdict: Buy it on Sale


Grace Rosa from Titan Manga is now available at all retailers.

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