Cover Image: Record of Ragnarok, Vol. 1

Record of Ragnarok, Vol. 1

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Member Reviews

Entertaining and an intriguing premise.

For Libraries: A good fit for adult and older teens who are looking for something quite violent.
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Not at all the book for me.  Edgy, bombastic, violence with not much compelling characterization or plot.  The concept of a duel between divine and human champions is interesting, but there just isn't anything interesting that happens except a bunch of yelling.  The art is pretty competent, though.
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I liked this more than I was expecting. I do wish they changed the cover so it would appeal to more people. The cover makes it look like a Mortal Kombat situation. Which in a way it is, as the humans have to fight the gods in order to ensure humanity survives for the next thousand years. There’s more information about Norse mythology, particularly Thor ,then in other books and information on the human competitor Lu Bu.  I believe he is from Chinese mythology. Overall this was a fun and exciting read and I cannot wait to see the other pair ups. Particularly I’m looking forward to seeing who Nicola Tesla fights and how he fights.
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The art is quite intricate and detailed, certainly not the cutesy kind and much more realistic which fits with the story being told. 

There’s a unique twist on the Gods and Ragnorak, and so often the Gods are depicted as being benevolent and looking out for humanity but that’s not quite the case here which was interesting. 

This first volume is packed full of action, scheming and mythology to keep you busy and entertained. The volume then ends with an interesting list of all the upcoming opponents that makes you curious about what’s to come from the next volumes.
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Gods battling over the fate of humanity is one hell of a concept for a story, and manga is the perfect medium to bring it to life. Record of Ragnarok Volume 1 is features art by Azychika, story by Shinya Umemura, and a script by Takyumi Fukui. The series is published and localized in English by VIZ Media through their VIZ Signature imprint. Additionally, its translated into English by Jo Yamakazi and features touch-up art & lettering by Mark McMurray. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you caught the Netflix Original Anime based on this story.

The premise of the series is simple and earth-shattering. Once every millennium, the gods assemble to decide if humanity is worthy of its continued existence or if it should be destroyed. This time, though, the verdict the council of the gods reaches is destruction. In order to save humanity, the Valkyrie Brunilde poses a wager to save the beings she is connected to. To stop the destruction, human heroes must face off against the gods themselves in a battle known as Ragnarok. In order to find redemption, the human race must win the best of 13 matches in the Valhalla arena.

For Record of Ragnarok Volume 1, the gods have opted to end the proceeding quickly by presentingThor, the Norse god of thunder as the gods’ first champion. A god who can defeat someone in a single look, Thor is not only a formidable opponent but a crushing one. To match him, Brunhilde chooses the strongest warrior in the history of mankind, the legendary general Lü Bu.

If you’ve watched the Netflix Original Anime, then you know that Record of Ragnarok blends gods from across religions and humans from across histories, weaving together the mythologies that have forged their legends. In the manga, we get this to an even greater extent. Record of Ragnarok Volume 1 is only the fight between Thor and Lü Bu, but despite being focused on one battle, the chapters contain much more depth into the mythology around the fighters than the anime.

While we get in-depth stories around Thor and Lü Bu, we also get more context around Brunhilde’s motives to help the human race. While the anime paints her as more as a character that exists to just transition between the gods and humans, Record of Ragnarok Volume 1 gives insight into her motive and how much work she puts into choosing her champions. Brunhilde isn’t a tool but an active character with agency and will that pits her against the gods themselves as much as the humans are.

With more context and a more prominent role for Brunhilde, Record of Ragnarok Volume 1 is even better than the anime. It’s loud and hyper-stylized while managing to bring camp to the gods and ferocity to the humans. Having watched the anime before the manga was officially released in English, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Truthfully, the manga tells you more than the series does, and if you’re a fan of one, you can use the other to gain more value and care for the story. This makes Record of Ragnarok Volume 1 well worth picking up — and if you’re new to the series, this is one to grab if you have any level of love of mythology.
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Nope.

I am all for dumb plots just for the sake of epic fight scenes. Entire genres have sprung out of this premise. But the way this book treats its female characters is just atrocious. We get to see multiple gods from multiple pantheons. How many goddesses do we see? One: Aphrodite who is drawn with comically oversized breasts. Aphrodite is historically associated with sexuality so she gets a pass. Unfortunately I can't give a pass to the Valkyries. First we have Geir who spends half her time whining and the other half crying. Then we have Rangrid, who shows up for about two seconds before being turned into a weapon devoid of the ability to speak or think. Brunhilde’s depiction is the one that disappoints me the most. It starts pretty good with her defying the gods. But then she gets sexually assaulted specifically so Thor (a male character) can look cool by rescuing her. Maybe I’ve played too much Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir, but I was genuinely expecting the VALKYRIE to rain down death and destruction on the fool who dared touch her. 

But what ticked me off the most was the list of gods and mortals that would take part in the battle to determine the fate of humanity. Not. One. Woman. Was. On. That. List. Not Athena. You know. The GODDESS OF WAR? Are you seriously telling me out of all of human history and mythology, the author could not think of ONE SINGLE WARRIOR WOMAN to put on the list? This is not okay.
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The gods have voted for the destruction of humanity, but the Valkyrie Brunhilde invokes the Ragnarok Protocol so instead of destruction there will be a battle between thirteen champions of humanity versus thirteen gods. The first fight is between Thor and Lu Bu (from the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history). And Lu Bu is standing up to Thor with the assistance of the Valkyries. But can he continue to stand when Thor really takes of his gloves? Read this volume and then await the continuing tale in the next volume!

Thanks Netgalley for the chance to read this title.
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Every 1,000 years the gods assemble to decide the fate of humanity. Just when it seems that all human life is set to be wiped out, the valkyrie Brunhilde stops the vote with a proposal. In a tournament between gods and humans, if the humans can win at least half the rounds then humanity will be spared. The Battle of Ragnarok is starting with 13 gods vs 13 human warriors. Let this battle of epic proportions commence!

Packed full of action, this volume follows the beginning of the first battle between Thor and Lu Bu. A fight for the ages, we watch as these two warriors clash while going head to head. Just at the end of the manga, we get a sneak preview of the other matches to come.
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Received copy for honest review. 

Great artwork, original story, and would recommend it to a certain audience that enjoys fantasy and alternate universe aspects.
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I'm pretty sure the concept behind the creation of Record of Ragnarok went something like this: "You know how shonen always have those early tournament storylines? What if we make one that's just a tournament and you get little bits of story between?"

And seriously, I'm sold. This is like candy for a shonen fan.
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Record of Ragnarok Volume One sees the gods assembling to decide if humanity is worthy to continue its existence or if it should be destroyed.

Record of Ragnarok Volume One
Written by: Shinya Umemura and Takumi Fukui
Publisher: COAMIX, Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 18, 2022

At the meeting of the gods, it’s established to the reader that many well-known gods and deities are in attendance (including Zeus, Shiva, Aphrodite, and Odin). Later in the volume, the reader is introduced to other gods and deities as well, but these are the ones that are specifically pointed out at the meeting. When it looks like the gods will vote to destroy humanity, a Valkyrie named Brunhilde steps forward and suggests testing the humans. She invokes Ragnarok, which is a battle between the gods and humanity, which is buried within the Valhalla Constitution. In a Regnarok, each side has a team of 13 fighters, and the first team with seven victories wins. At first, the gods laugh and sneer at this idea, because it’s inconceivable that mere humans could defeat gods. But once Brunhilde insults the gods by insinuating that they’re afraid of fighting the humans, the gods are goaded into agreeing.

After the meeting, it’s insinuated that Brunhilde had once been transformed into a human, which is why she has such empathy for them. But this is the only time this idea is even touched on, so I’m hoping we can learn more about this plot point in a future volume of the series. After an encounter with Thor, Brunhilde begins hatching her plan by selecting 13 of the ultimate warriors from seven million years of human history.

From here, the story transitions to the first battle of the Ragnarok, and this first battle takes up the remainder of Volume One. It’s revealed that Thor is fighting for the gods, and the warrior for the humans is Lu Bu Fengxian, a military warlord and general from the three kingdoms. There are a lot of action panels during the fighting, which helps to make parts of this volume a quick read. Interspersed in between the fighting, though, are backstories for both Thor and Lu Bu, as well as reactions from Brunhilde and the other spectators. There’s also a surprising twist with Lu Bu, when it’s realized that he seems to be Thor’s equal. Zeus realizes that this due to something that Brunhilde has done.

Although something that jumped out at me with Thor’s backstory is the invasion of the giants where Thor ultimately defeats them all on his own. When the giants make their approach and ultimately breach the wall into the village, I was really getting some Attack on Titan vibes as I read this section.

The fight between Thor and Lu Bu does not conclude in Volume One, but right at the end of the volume, the 13 fighters for both the humans and the gods are revealed. There are many expected names for the gods, but some of the names on the list for the humans are… intriguing. I hope to be able to read future volumes of Record of Ragnarok in order to learn why Brunhilde chose some of the fighters that she did.

I thought the art style worked really well for the tone of the series’ story. One of the best drawn characters in this volume was Brunhilde, and there were several panels that featured her that really jump out at the reader. But I have to give the artist credit for the fact that each character has their own unique look, and that none of the major characters can be mistaken for someone else.

Record of Ragnarok is off to a strong start, and enough information and character development happened in this volume to make me want to read the next volume to find out how this story will continue. I think that this series will have a strong appeal to manga readers who also enjoy mythology, and to readers who like reading shonen manga that focuses on fighting and battles.
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This first volume is a lot of fun! The premise is basically various gods against humanity's best, and Thor and Lu Bu's fight did not disappoint! Personally, I'm more interested in what Brunhild is doing, but the action does keep my attention. I'm curious about how some of the other matches will play out. Basically, if battle shows and manga are your jam, you could potentially rock out with this series!
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Humans versus gods! Exciting! Very cool to see gods from many different cultures appearing together. Compelling plot, great build up, awesome action. This one will definitely be a new fav among my library's teens.
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This title starts with a meeting of all sorts of different gods deciding if humanity should continue living. When they unanimously decide to end humanity a Valkyrie decrees a fight between the best of humanity and gods to test their worthiness. There was a lot of build up to the fight and then the fight was kind of boring but the two adversaries were equal fighters and it was a close fight. The art style was exaggerated and detailed. I'm not into this kind of story so I didn't like it but those who like action could enjoy it.
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As epic as it can be! Wow! Fun and full of action this first volume in this manga series sure hook me up and now I just keep thinking about it and I want more!!
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