Kekkaishi vol. 3 - Yellow Tanabe
By night, junior high student Yoshimori Sumimura is a "kekkaishi" - a demon-hunter who specializes in creating magical barriers around his prey. By day, Yoshimori's got some other demons to battle: an addiction to sweets and a seriously crotchety grandfather! Yoshimori's pretty 16-year-old neighbour and childhood friend, Tokine Yukimura, is also a kekkaishi, but their families are feuding over who is the true practitioner of the art. When he's unable to capture a particularly nasty foe, Yoshimori vows to improve himself, even if it means spending less time baking cakes! Then a spectre from the past visits Madarao, Yoshimori's loyal demon dog, and attempts to lure the canine away from Yoshimori forever. (courtesy of Goodreads)
*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.
I'm becoming more fond of this series with each volume, which is natural I suppose, as the characters are becoming increasingly familiar. Yoshimori is starting to take his role as a demon-hunter more seriously. We see him struggling to create better kekkai, boxes that either trap demons or protect the demon-hunters. His family and friends are always quick to criticize his little errors, but behind his back, they're marveling. He has the potential to be incredibly powerful.
I love how Tokine and Yoshimori always work as a team. They may not intend to work together, but they are always looking out for the other person. We see Tokine looking out for Yoshimori in this volume, not because he's an annoying kid who screws up, but because she cares for him and wants to protect him.
The main plot of this volume centers on Madarao, Yoshimori's demon dog. We learn a little more about the origin of the demon dogs, the powerful watchdogs who help kekkaishi fight demons. Madarao becomes a main character when his former brother puppy arrives as an incredibly powerful demon.
As I'm getting used to with Tanabe's writing, we get emotional scenes describing the history between Madarao and Koya. The reader feels sorry for the demon and his painful past, yet also understands that Koya must be destroyed. I felt bad for the difficult choice Madarao had to make. I also liked seeing Yoshimori's demon-dog in a role other than the big brother role. In the first two volumes, he was always making sure Yoshimori did things right. Now it's Yoshimori who is helping him. He reminds me a bit of Grimalkin from Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.
Yet another good volume of Kekkaishi. I like that we're learning more about the world of kekkaishi in each volume. Plus, we're getting to know and emphasize each character better. Tanabe does an excellent job of balancing character and plot.