Kekkaishi Vol. #05 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-4215-0486-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Kekkaishi Vol. #05

By Jarred Pine     May 17, 2006
Release Date: May 16, 2006

Kekkaishi Vol.#05
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yellow Tanabe
Translated by:Yuko Sawada
Adapted by:

What They Say
Karasumori, the magical area that Yoshimori and Tokine have been assigned to protect, is a place of mystery and wonder. Beneath its surface lurks Lord Uro, a fantastic donut-loving creature who only appears when he needs a helping hand with home repairs. Yoshimori has been assigned the task of handyman - the only problem is that Uro's home lies in the depths below Karasumori, where the magic is strong enough to have ill effects on humans.

The Review
Yellow Tanabe is really finding the groove here with this laid back, much understated story about rival family spirit hunters who are guarding the mysterious, mythical land of Karasumori. However, I'm finding reading Kekkaishi first requires unlearning everything that Shonen Jump and the ilk have programmed into my brain. There is no mission-based, adventure story with conflicts lasting dozens of chapters. The way the more fantastical elements are seamlessly weaved into this casual, almost slice-of-life type of story remind me of a Ghibli movie. There's something magical about Yoshimori fixing a furry-daikon-raddish-looking deity's bed that is located deep underground. There is still an ayakashi battle in this volume, but the result of the battle is not the focus, and it does not drag on with Yoshimori pulling out secret move after secret move. The battle also helps carry this mysterious mood that the previous volume introduced.

Kekkaishi continues to really be Yoshimori's coming of age story, where his true "enemies" are his traditionalist grandfather, the overachieving older girl from the rival Yukimura family whom he has a crush on, and his overbearing older brother who is also a Kekkai. Yoshimori is also one of the more realistic 15-year old boys in all of manga. Throwing out such great lines as, "I'll make you appreciate sweat pants!" brings back memories of arguments with my parents about what is considered appropriate attire for certain events. A chapter focused around Toshimori also helps bring a new dynamic of the Sumimura family to the forefront. The element of familial relationships is important to the story, so it is nice to understand how Toshimori feels about his older brothers.

I truly believe Kekkaishi is a manga that has great cross-audience appeal if given an honest chance. It's taken a couple volumes to find its groove, but this is manga I find to be very much underappreciated.


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