Kago Shintaro’s Masterpiece: The Princess Of The Never-Ending Castle Reviewed

by Tito W. James

The Princess of The Never-Ending Castle takes place in an alternate timeline during the Japanese war for unification. In true history warlord Oda Nobunaga was betrayed and assassinated by his closest general Akechi Mitsuhide. This story explores what would happen if Nobunaga had defeated Mitsuhide and continued his rule.

The point in space and time where Nobunaga was supposed to die fractures creating two alternate realities, each existing in their own castle. The twin castles grow like divergent branches of a tree with Nobunaga ruling one castle and Mitsuhide ruling the other. The plot thickens when Nobunaga’s wife Princess Nō seeks revenge on Mitsuhide for murdering her husband; she is the Princess of The Never-Ending Castle.

THE BAD

While the book has an english translation it was clearly done by a machine or a non-native speaker. The dialogue is readable but some of the phrases come across as clunky and mix up the difference between words like “live” and “alive.” This isn’t a deal-breaker but it’s a noticeable blemish on an otherwise beautifully crafted work of art.

THE GOOD

The bizarre premise could only have been pulled off by Kago Shintaro. Kago’s patient for optical-illusions, body-deformation, pornography, creative-gore, and mind-bending storytelling are all utilized to their fullest. As Kago’s first long form work it makes use of all of his artistic talents and presents them in a fashion that’s accessible to new audiences.

The story is a trip; playing with elements of horror, thriller, dark comedy, and martial arts. Kago’s expert draftsmanship is on full display as the castle’s morph and deform in accordance with branching timelines. This story like a cross-between hentai and Inception.

THE VERDICT

The Princess of The Never-Ending Castle utilizes everything that makes Kago’s stories unique. It’s a story in it’s own genre beyond SciFi, beyond snuff, and beyond imagination. If this is your first exposure to Kago’s work I can easily recommend it.

The Princess of The Never-Ending Castle is available in limited supply from Hollow Press.

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