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Manga Review: Game of Familia Vol. 3 & 4 (2024) by Mikoto Yamaguchi & D.P.

Game of Familia vol 4 cover artwork
"Game of Familia" has settled into its filthy, depraved, viscera-soaked, action-packed, nature quite comfortably.

” vol. 3 official synopsis from Yen Press: “Daba—the land where violence rules all! What is Sasae's plan when his magic is sealed?! Sasae and his family ventured toward the barbarous nation of Daba on a mission to slay its mad king, but the tables turn when Daba warriors strike at the border. In a land where magic is deactivated, strength decides who dominates, and Manako is carried off before the family's eyes! Can they get her back without Sasae's mighty magic to depend on…?!”

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Game of Familia Vol. 3 cover

Read Our Review of Volume One of “Game of Familia” First

“Game of Familia” has undeniably become a welcome addition to many a collection, with the plastic film hiding the contents only slightly, alluding to the amount of graphic imagery and eroticism within. The mature isekai manga from & D.P. has undoubtedly proven to be Yen Press's most extreme and inappropriate series currently in print, a fact that will either tease or repulse readers. Still, now with the manga's first major arc over within vol. 3 & 4, as Sasae's quarrel with the Daba kingdom comes to an end, “Game of Familia” has settled into its filthy, depraved, viscera-soaked, action-packed, nature quite comfortably.

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The Daba kingdom arc offers the excess readers will expect from the previous volumes, but it adds more to the lore and outlines the direction Mikoto Yamaguchi is taking the story. The writing still feels shallow, with the sensational elements remaining the primary draw. However, the recent volumes of “Game of Familia” feel less aimless than the previous ones, with the introduction of new foes and the opening up of the world to new threats beyond the never-ending scourge of horny demons. These two volumes also benefit from including more of Sasae's backstory, despite not lifting the unlikable and cruel persona; not quite an antihero, more of a ‘bastard,' but it suits the manga's tone.

All elements of “Game of Familia” will have niche appeal, with the story, including its insensitivity and masturbatory elements mimicking anime titles of the 90s like “Ninja Scroll” and “Kite.” This is not going to be a title you casually recommend to someone, and the work has to have that rose-tinted nostalgia to make it palatable; the amount of r*** alone is enough to off-put anyone not hardened by the early sensational titles. This is a fair stance under the modern climate and just being human; the manga has many uncomfortable elements, but the reader has to roll with the punches. The one-sided nature of the erotic and power fantasies, geared towards men, will only limit the audience further.

The art of D.P. remains consistently cool, with action, eroticism, and fantasy world-building all honed to perfection. In particular, D.P. continues to show his knack for exaggerating both male and female forms to ensure sex is always at the forefront of the visuals. The striking visuals would have benefitted from a larger formatted release, but given the graphic nature limiting the work's appeal, it makes sense that the book would be printed in the standard format. Those who want to remain discreet may want to grab the work digitally instead, as the volumes are bare of bonus features that would make you want to collect them physically.

Game-of-Familia-Vol-3-interiors

You are either all in with “Game of Familia” or treat it like dreck you want to distance yourself from as much as possible; you know which side you stand on before even getting through a single chapter of the work. Still, even with a relatively shallow plot and emphasis on gore and eroticism over everything else, the series is finely tuned to deliver such excess that it stands tall among other mature titles that aim for the same full-throttle approach.

About the author

Adam Symchuk

Adam Symchuk is a Canadian born freelance writer and editor who has been writing for Asian Movie Pulse since 2018. He is currently focused on covering manga, manhwa and light novels having reviewed hundreds of titles in the past two years.

His love of film came from horror and exploitation films from Japan that he devoured in his teens. His love of comics came from falling in love with the works of Shuzo Oshimi, Junji Ito, Hideshi Hino, and Inio Asano but has expanded to a general love of the medium and all its genres.

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