Comic Books Magazine

Hoshi No Samidare: The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer Review

Posted on the 30 January 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Hoshi no SamidareTitle: Hoshi no Samidare: The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer
Genre: Action, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
Publisher: Shonen Gahosha (JP), Crunchyroll (US)
Story/Artist: Satoshi Mizukami
Serialized in: Young King Ours
Reviewed: Volume 1 & 2 of 12
Review copy provided by Crunchyroll.

The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer holds a dubious honor in the US manga publishing world for being licensed three separate times which must be close to a record. It was first published on the now-defunct J-Manga website and then license rescued by both Seven Seas and by Crunchyroll Manga independently. I believe that Seven Seas and Crunchyroll have their own translations but I do not have a copy of Seven Seas’s edition in front of me so I cannot compare. To keep things simple however I decided to tackle the first two volumes of the manga which make up the first of Seven Seas omnibus releases.

In this seemingly normal version of Japan, a giant hammer looms high in the sky, ready to strike down and destroy the Earth as it has countless other worlds at some unspecific time. There are of course those who have been given the mission to stop this, knights who are sworn to protect their princess against the wizard who seeks to destroy the world but one must wonder how these knights choose which humans to pair up with since main character Amamiya Yuuhi is decidedly not interested in whatever the talking lizard is asking of him. He is eventually convinced to join the magical fight not by the lizard but by his next door neighbor Samidare who is connected to the princess the way that Yuuhi is to Neu the lizard. It’s her firm declaration that she will stop the biscuit hammer so that she can destroy the world herself that sways Yuuhi into following her as her knight.

Hoshi no Samidare: The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer

That part makes up the “plot” to the story which is actually the less important of the two stories, Yuuhi decides early on that he will help Samidare’s insane plan because frankly he doesn’t want to save the world. Horribly mentally abused as a child, he sees Samidare as both a way to help forget about his past and as a chance to destroy the world that took away or made monsters out of every adult he’s ever known. The manga prefers to focus on the character’s internal turmoils rather than the action scenes which is for both the betterment and detriment of the story.

On the good side, two volumes in and Yuuhi is still horribly out-classed each time one of the wizard’s golems track him down so nearly every fight plays out the same way (with him trying to bide time until someone else can finish it off). Quite honestly though, the fight scenes aren’t that interesting to look at. The action is a bit messy, the background details bland, and the character designs are an off-putting combination of soft, curvy lines next to hard, straight and angular ones as well (for some reason they look much better in the color pages but those are few and far between).

Hoshi no Samidare: The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer

On the other hand, Yuuhi’s character is painted with such broad strokes that his character growth is extraordinarily slow and it’s a bit hard to tell if he’s more apathetic or a sociopath for wanting the world destroyed. The other characters fare a bit better; Samidare’s sister ends up being more nuanced than I expected although Shinonome’s character also fell a bit flat for me, I just felt like there was more Mizukami could have done with him. I did especially like Samidare’s characterization however, it balanced her love of the world against wanting to own and destroy it without feeling strange.

Hoshi no Samidare: The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer

There’s just enough keeping me interested in this series that I do plan on continuing, although I may have made a mistake by reading Mizukami’s more recent work Spirit Circle first (also on Crunchyroll, it improves on nearly every criticism I have about Lucifer). In the end, yes I do recommend this, it’s a different take on the classic “save the world” story and, when it’s not going for forced “if this was a manga then this would happen!” humor, it’s a smartly paced read that I’m sure will throw in even more strange twists before it’s complete.

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