Manga Reviews

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Licensed by Viz

Topic: Supernatural

Ayakashi are creatures of darkness that live in the night. They have the potential to harm humans so people who have inherited certain powers are needed to destroy these Ayakashi. These people are known as Kekkaishi.

Sumimura Yoshimori and Yukimura Tokine are friends who live next-door to one another. They have both inherited the power to destroy Ayakashi (although their grand-parents each claim the other family's power is a sham). One day, when they are out fighting Ayakashi, Tokine gets injured while protecting Yoshimori. At that point he vows never to let anyone else get hurt when he's around.

The first few chapters are mini-stories focusing on various Ayakashi that the two have to defeat but towards the end of the second volume a mysterious group of Kekkaishi known as the Urakai is introduced. Who are these people with such incredible power and what ties do they have to the families of the two main characters?

The character art is fairly typical, without any highly detailed features or a unique art style. On the other hand, the background art is highly detailed, especially during the battle scenes. Also, while the protagonists aren’t very innovative (either in character or in art), the opponents are fairly interesting and artistically varied.

The plot is fairly innovative although a bit clichéd at times (Tokine will no doubt keep helping Yoshimori until some catastrophic event occurs which only Yoshimori can defeat). I dislike the fact that the main character was forcibly made childish and foolish in the beginning so that it's easier to show growth. It’s very typical throughout the manga world to do this, but it’s incredibly forced in Kekkaishi. You’re repeatedly shown, over the first few mini-series, that Yoshimori is an idiot who always needs help, just so that later on, when he develops his independence he’ll appear that much more powerful.

That said, at this point it seems like there is a lot of potential for a deeper story going forward, we'll see once more volumes are released. So far it hasn't devolved into a constant repetition of training and combating ever stronger opponents, I hope it remains that way.

Rating: 7.0/10.0


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