Imhotep is a Great Priest from the days of ancient Egypt. Now in the current day, he’s been mysteriously summoned to exorcise magai, or fake gods, known to be wandering the island nation of Japan. There he meets Hinome, a girl who’s curse has her breathing fire whenever she talks so she’s been silent for eight whole years…
And, as you’d expect, Imhotep – Im for short – immediately disperses the magai residing in Hinome; freeing her from her silent prison. Hinome then wastes no time making her grievances against Im heard. In fact, Hinome yells a lot throughout the entire first volume which I found to be a little tiring. However, she has valid points as the Great Priest has taken up residence at her house and he shows no signs of leaving anytime soon. Im is a bit…well, very conceited and arrogant. His perceived entitlement causes a lot of friction between the two main characters, but their arguments are pretty witty. Though I wish Hinome wasn’t on the losing end so much. They clash over pretty much everything, but slowly they’re becoming friends…I think.
This first installment of Im: Great Priest Imhotep is definitely an introductory volume. Most of it focuses on building Hinome and Im’s rather rocky friendship, but there are dedicated plotlines for Hinome’s new friend Shirahana and a chibi-dog-god, Anubis. (So cute!) As this volume wraps up, a figure appears and declares Im a heretic deserving of divine punishment… So it looks like getting into the meat of the story is probably going to take a few more volumes.
I like how the lore of ancient Egypt is smoothly injected into the story. There are lots of references to Egypt’s gods and culture. Plus, the real world tale of Imhotep is steeped in mystery anyway, so that lends itself for a great basis on which Makoto Morishita has built this fictional Im. That seamless integration actually reminds me of the Magi series too. Both authors were able to take a well-known, ageless story and reimagine the characters making them their own. Also, needless fun fact, King Tutankamun and the real Imhotep lived in eras 1,300 years apart! I found that factoid jaw-dropping.
What didn’t stun me as much as I’d hoped was Im: Great Priest Imhotep overall. The heavily used monster-of-the-week formula in the first volume’s introductory chapters got a bit stale and I hope this trope makes way for a larger, over-arching plot. Right now the story hasn’t grabbed my attention like I was anticipating. Unlike Imhotep’s still undiscovered real-world tomb it sounds like volume will reveal more of Im’s past. So I’ll keep digging.
From the sands of Ancient Egypt to the streets of modern Japan, the newly resurrected Great Priest Imhotep traverses time and space on the hunt for the magai, devious beings with an appetite for destruction who impersonate the gods! When schoolgirl Hinome crosses paths with this illustrious ancient, is her loner lifestyle about to change for the better...or for the worse?!Add to CartLearn More