Monday, October 31, 2011

Manga Mondays (74) Kekkaishi vol. 6 by Yellow Tanabe

Kekkaishi vol. 6 - Yellow Tanabe


Summary

A modern-day Romeo and Juliet, skilled in the art of the "kekkaishi," fight against their families' bitter rivalry and a gaggle of monsters and ghosts on the loose!

By day, 14-year-old Yoshimori Sumimura is just a regular kid going to junior high school, but by night he is a "kekkaishi," or demon-fighter who specializes in generating magical barriers around his prey before making them disappear. His neighbor is 16-year-old Tokine Yukimura, who is also a kekkaishi! Together they share the knowledge of their ancient art and their nights battling beings from the netherworld. Sounds fun, but their families don't get along, because each believes themselves to be the "true practitioners" of the art of the kekkaishi.

Will Yoshimori and Tokine friendship overcome their families' ancient rivalry? And will they be able to stop the frog-demon that's threatening their school?! Their exciting adventures and magical battles begin in this volume!(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

*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.

The Karasumori, the magical site that Yoshimori and Tokine protect, continues to be under serious threat. A new kind of ayakashi has arrived. It's more dangerous, because it hides in a human skin and is thus more difficult to detect and can be out during the day. The particular ayakashi that Yoshimori and Tokine encounter is very powerful. They just barely escape. If there are more like him out there, that doesn't bode well.

The key part of this volume is the entrance of a new ayakashi figher, Gen. He was sent here by Yoshimori's brother Masamori. He's arrogant, thinks Yoshimori is incompetent, is irritated by Tokine, and is extremely dangerous. He is part ayakashi. And so powerful that he can easily claw through Yoshimori's kekkai (protective magical box/cage). This is another reason that I am suspicious of Masamori. Why is Gen here? Is he a good guy? Is he here to spy on Yoshimori? To overpower him? I don't understand Masamori's intentions.

Gen seems like a real jerk for the reasons stated above. He's not happy to be here, but he appears to worship Masamori and will do whatever he says. Regardless of whether Gen will ultimately prove to be a help or hindrance to Yoshimori, he helps get him out of a tough spot with a spinny demon. If Gen's not evil, he, Yoshimor, and Tokine may make a good team.

One of the ever-present themes of this series is Yoshimori's inferiority complex. He's been told his whole life that he's never good enough. When secretly, those that criticize him are incredibly impressed by his innate power. On one hand, it's good that they don't tell him how talented he is. It keeps him hungry and on his toes. But on the other hand, if he believes he's incompetent, will it be harder for him to reach his full potential? Or will it only make him work harder to prove that he's good enough. I think it's the latter, but it's hard to see Yoshimori with so little self-confidence.

2 comments:

  1. Awwww. I feel so bad for Yoshimori! I kind of want to hug him:) On the one hand I can see how telling him he's not good enough will light a fire under him to prove otherwise, but at some point, if it continues, I think they run the risk of him imploding a bit under the weight of all that negative reinforcement. I'll be interested to see what happens!

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  2. Aww, poor Yoshimori! He sounds like he needs a hug. :) I know all too well about the inferiority complex tactic used here. In the Pakistani culture, it's impossible to not be compared to someone else who is better than you. This is suppose to serve in a twisted way, inspiration. Some do well with it while others take the news to heart. I hope Yoshimori can break through and realize his potential. I'm interested to see how he deals with this.

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