Wolfsmund (狼の口 ヴォルフスムント)
by Mitsuhisa Kuji
Wolfsmund spins a tale from mid-17th century Europe centering around the St. Gotthard Pass (a fortress nicknamed Wolfsmund) in the Alps and the ensuing Swiss peasant rebellions. The story takes us from the whispered words of unrest through (so far) all-out assault on the odious fortress known as Wolfsmund.
There are many character threads being pulled in different directions by the master of the fortress, Wolfram, and the hope of the peasant cause, Walter, son of Wilhelm Tell. Walter runs as hot as Wolfram runs cold and that distinction becomes more and more pronounced with each passing death. But Wolfram emerges as the more interesting character of the story despite Walter’s role as would-be hero. Wolfram is established early on as a fascinating, but truly villainous, character and nothing about the series suggests a heroic happy-ending for the rest of the cast.
Wolfsmund is incredibly violent in a hundred different ways. In an odd twist, scenes of the fortress being attacked are actually less gruesome than many earlier, smaller, attempts to snuff out rebels. Not to mention the truly vile and disturbing methods of Wolfram himself.
In the hands of Mitsuhisa Kuji, Wolfsmund’s emerges as a brutal historical fantasy with razor-sharp art. From harrowing scenes of people climbing the mountains in an attempt to skirt the pass to Wolfram’s unnerving calm as he quietly questions travelers, the reputation of Wolfsmund as a place without mercy and a master who is beguiling in how frightening he is is executed to perfection.