Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea
written by Nakaba Higurashi and Seiichi Morimura
In 2006, Seiichi Morimura’s book To the Ends of the Earth and Sea gave a new audience of readers insight into the life of Genghis Khan, legendary 13th-century ruler of Mongolia. That book in turn was adapted into an award-winning hit film known as Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea, a title shared by this new manga.
Neither the background on the history of the publication nor a basic understanding of Khan’s epic life are necessary to enjoy the manga. The story is told again here, giving enough detail on Khan’s life from a newborn baby up until his unprecedented uniting of warring tribes to form a great empire.
Unlike the movie, the manga doesn’t spend too much time on Khan’s early life and boyhood, when he was known as Temujin. Racing to get to where the action is, the story doesn’t quite fill in the details of Temujin’s beginnings, but it certainly gives enough. The eldest boy, and with rumors swirling of his true parentage, Temujin seemed to have much to prove, and he did so. As a very young man, he meets Jamuqa, who ends up becoming his blood brother, and then later his sworn enemy. From the get-go, Temujin’s life seems custom-made for manga storytelling.
Perhaps because Nakaba Higurashi brings an interesting female perspective to the storytelling, Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea has a heart that mitigates some of the violence. To be sure, the manga is rated Teen+ by the publisher (meaning for 16 or older due to the violence inside), and it earns that rating (although no one would expect the story of Genghis Khan to be both lacking in bloodshed while still being remotely truthful).
Perhaps taking some liberties with history, Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth is still a wholloping fun manga read, the kind that might appeal to new readers of the format.