Record of Ragnarok is an incredible manga.
Record of Ragnarok is also one of those localisations I thought would never come. After catching my attention a few years back with its striking art style and intriguing plot, I was obsessed. I loved it so much, that I ended up basing an entire article on it – which you can check out HERE.
When it was announced that Record of Ragnarok was getting an anime adaptation, I couldn’t help but hope that, if well received, this would herald an official English localisation of the manga. And then we got the Netflix original anime – and with it, all my hopes went up in smoke…
I’m glad to say though, despite the odds, Record of Ragnarok was at long last picked up for an English release, and with Volume 3 having recently dropped, what better time to hopefully draw some new readers into the series!
Full disclosure – this is by far, my FAVOURITE manga of recent years, so be prepared for copious amounts of gushing!
With that out of the way, today on our trip down the Otaku Rabbit Hole, we’ll be taking a closer look at the fantastic first volume of Record of Ragnarok, and why this is one manga you shouldn’t skip.
With all that said, let’s get right into it!
Story – Record of Ragnarok’s Tale of the Gods
Record of Ragnarok is set in the realm of the gods, where the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
Every 1000 years, the gods from across the many religions and beliefs of the world gather and vote on whether Humanity is deserving of another 1000 years, or should be annihilated. This time, the gods have decided that humanity’s self-serving ways and disregard for the world have gone far enough, and unanimously decide that humanity should finally be wiped from the earth.
Now, while this would appear to be Humanity’s last hurrah, the Valkyrie Brunhilde cannot let this happen. Standing before the many pantheon gods, she risks their divine wrath as she invokes a clause to help overturn an unjust fate.
It is revealed that 13 gods must face off against 13 humans from throughout history in 1v1 battles to the death. There are no easy fights here, as winning literally means overcoming the gods themselves to save humanity.
To complicate matters, when someone dies, their death is absolute as they are removed from the cycle of rebirth entirely, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Sounds impossible, right?
Well, not if everyone’s favourite Valkyrie, Brunhilde, has anything to say about it, as she has more than a few tricks waiting up her sleeve to help even the odds.
I won’t go into further detail here because there’s a lot of juicy moments to sink your teeth into throughout Record of Ragnarok volume 1, but the gods won’t find humanity so easily squashed.
An Art Style To Rival Michelangelo
In terms of its art style, Record of Ragnarok is nothing short of striking.
This manga focuses on emphasising the spectacle with over-the-top action, tension and violence. By unapologetically leveraging the shonen tropes of high-octane action with both its story and art style, Record of Ragnarok crafts something deliciously addictive that fans of the genre will adore.
Fantastically detailed characters warp and twist in stunningly grotesque ways, becoming horrifying caricatures of emotion. In a way that words simply could never match, these images broadcast the complex emotions each character experiences and the madness that bubbles just beneath the surface during these battles to the death.
What’s more, the gods and historical figures we’ve come to know and love in our favourite movies, anime and video games are not quite as we know them. However, the ways in which they’re drawn sell the fantasy and make them utterly irresistible to the reader.
Let’s take Zeus, for example – everyone’s favourite mythological lothario. In Record of Ragnarok, he presides over the realm of the gods as one of its leaders, but at first glance appears as little more than a frail old man. His frail visage is shattered in an instant, however, when his command is threatened, instead revealing a twisted god who wishes for nothing more than to crush humanity beneath his feet.
It’s hard to deny that Record of Ragnarok stands among the greats through combining its unique art style with an incredible story. When combined with the insightful backstories for each combatant that tug on your heartstrings, it’s not unusual to find yourself hungry for more with Record of Ragnarok.
Record of Ragnarok is one of the easiest recommendations I can make to fans of high action Shonen.
Record of Ragnarok had me devouring chapter after chapter to navigate the twists and turns of each epic battle that waged between the gods and humanity’s last hope. If you love epic action, battle royale-style face-offs, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds and a breathtaking art style, then you owe it to yourself to check out Record of Ragnarok!
With all that being said, thanks again for joining us on this week’s trip down the Otaku Rabbit Hole, and we hope you’ve enjoyed your time here. If you did, that’s amazing, and please consider sharing. If you didn’t, then please get in touch and let us know why. We would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you all once again and, until next time, keep it weeby everyone!
DISCLAIMER: ALL CREDIT FOR THE IMAGES USED IN THIS REVIEW IS GIVEN TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.