The conclusion of a bloody, violent chapter in Swiss and Austria history is one that makes it bad (but good) that Wolfsmund's finally at its end.
Wolfsmund’s conclusion is here, and of course it is a bloody, horrifying manga that I’m glad (and sad) is over.
After the Habsburg soldiers retook Catalina Castle convincingly in volume 7, volume 8 concludes with a penultimate battle that shaped The Swiss and Austrian forces for the next two centuries. And it begins when Duke Leopard learns of rebels heading north and desires to crush them, not realizing that it was a trap.
As a series that started with a tenacious, conniving, and proud bailiff to bringing alive the Battle of Morgarten in manga form, I think Wolfsmund made sure it went out well. Though yes, this may be the most disappointing aspect of Wolfsmund, as it concludes with events of history regarding the Habsburgs invading the Alps still untold.
That said, whether it would wise to continue with the aftermath of more war is debatable, especially considering the characters it lost. Also, Kuji herself expressed in the afterword that this was the ending she had in mind, so that’s the choice she made, and it’s a respectable one.
But since this was the end, she made sure it went out well, creating a level of violence and pain that’s pretty remarkable. Naturally when you study up on torture back in the 14th century (heck even past the 14th century) you have to replicate what was used or else it’s not realistic; in war there’s no shying away from the awfulness of it. Still, seeing the brains of a dude’s head pop out after getting crushed by a horse’s hoof is something else. There’s definitely not too many manga on the market like it out there, which is why Wolfsmund totally stands out.
From volume 1 to volume 8 the art has consistently gotten stronger, ranging from a lance piercing through a Schwyz man’s neck to humans jumping in frigid, cold water and sinking in it because of their armor. You can also see that even as compelling as a character Leopard is, he just can’t be the replacement for Wolfram. That’s probably why, if you were hoping for any additional character moments even in this last volume, you weren’t going to get it. There’s small moments, but it’s all about the battle. That’s definitely the big draw here.
The only thing I’ll add is that I hope Kuji can bring another series here sometime in the future. Maybe it’ll be just as violent as this, or maybe it’ll be something completely different. Either way, from its start to its finish, there might not be another manga in the market — maybe there’s Vinland Saga — that’s been published that delves into the dark aspects of medieval times. If you can stomach it, this is a different way to take a look into history, and the struggles and joys of two opposing factions. And while there’s still a story to tell, I think I’m mostly satisfied at where it chose to end.