Book Review: Sacred Guardians by Aydeel Djoeharie and Alan Bay

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Sacred Guardians is a comic book written by Aydeel Djoeharie and Alan Bay from Singapore. Aydeel Djoeharie is the co-founder of tokuAsia and Alan Bay is a freelance illustrator.

Sacred Guardians is the comic book prequel story to Sacred Guardian Singa, which is a live-action Tokusatsu superhero series currently in development by tokuAsia. Tokusatsu (Japanese: 特撮, “special filming”) is a Japanese term for live action film or television drama that makes heavy use of special effects. Think Godzilla, Ultraman and Super Sentai.

Sacred Guardians tells the story of how Dev, an immortal being, together with five Sacred Guardians (mythical powerful animal spirits) fight against a demon that has possessed an ancient Southeast Asia king.

The story is set in the 7th century and has some similar vibe to lores and legends from Southeast Asia. The story structure is the typical one of having the main protagonist gathering sidekicks or other characters and going on a quest, in this case to defeat a demon. This is a very common story structure which can work if you have a good story or characters. The storytelling is okay, not one with shocking revelations or cliffhangers, but still enjoyable to read. The five characters though could do with more character development as their introductions are too brief, possibly because the book only has 110 pages. So it’s difficult to relate to the characters and their motivations to prevent being annihilated by demons.

The art by Alan Bay looks great. Story pacing and panelling is quick with action. Character designs look nice with some over-the-top spirit costume designs that reminds me of the enemies in Bayonetta. In short the art is good, the book just need more pages to give the characters more convincing back stories.

The book’s published by AsiaPac Books is available via these links:
https://singapore.kinokuniya.com/bw/9789811452345
https://epigrambookshop.sg/products/sacred-guardians
https://asiapacbooks.com/products/sacred-guardians

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Source: parkablogs.com

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