By Julie Opipari
Kekkaishi Vol 22
Story and art by Yellow Tanabe
Published by Viz Media
Review by Julie Opipari
I just love Kekkaishi. Even when I was getting a sinking feeling in my gut that this story arc was going to wander off into territory that I wouldn’t like, Yellow Tanabe managed to keep me engrossed in the plot. I hate the current villain and find her the worst kind of one-dimensional stereo-type, but I like the other new character, Yugami. Even after hating him at first! Saiko, on the other hand, is just annoying and a very shallow excuse for an opponent.
The thing I like the best about Kekkaishi is how Tokine and Yoshimori interact with each other. They have been together for all of their lives, and they are very dependant on each other, whether they want to admit it or not. Being together makes the other stronger, and even if they occasionally bicker, they always have each other’s back. They are a team, and if one of them is not there, the other is diminished.
When Tokine is whisked off to be interrogated by the Shadow Organization, Tokine’s friends are immediately worried about her. Her questioning is very unusual, and when her grandmother learns that she’s been spirited off to Headless Island, she is very concerned about Tokine’s welfare. When Yoshimori and Hatori arrive at the island with the proper documents to have her released, they stumble upon a scene of chaos and confusion. There is something shady going on at Headless Island, and if they don’t hurry up and figure out what it is, they are all going to get themselves killed!
I love, love, love Yoshimori. He is impulsive and has the temper of a bottle rocket, but he is always ready and willing to put himself in harm’s way to save his friends. And he loves to bake! This guy has got it all! He even has some super-duper panels where he looks and sounds really, really cool! I don’t care what anyone else says, he is clearly maturing and willing to take responsibility for his, and everyone else’s, actions.
It is clear that the troubles with the Shadow Organization run deep, and that there isn’t anyone to be trusted. I am finding this story arc intriguing and suspenseful, even though Masamori is nowhere to be seen. ‘Cause if there is one character who I love more than Yoshimori, it’s his older, much more dangerous brother, Masamori. I hope he shows up again soon! If you enjoy action titles with wonderful dashes of humor, I can’t recommend Kekkaishi highly enough. It rocks!
When Julie Opipari isn’t mucking around the barn, she can be found trying to make a dent in the massive pile of manga that keeps following her home from the bookstore. Not wiling to admit she has a problem, she blissfully continues to anticipate the latest releases despite the cries of agony from her credit card. She cheerfully blames her addiction on the stresses of college and post traumatic work disorder, and is grateful that her family grumbles only occasionally about the amount of time she spends buried in her books. In addition to reading Your Manga Minute every Wednesday, you can read more of Julie’s work on her blog, Manga Maniac Cafe.