Not so much investigation but rather lots of action and smashing.
Writer/Artist: Yoshiyuki Nishi
Translation: Alexander O. Smith
Adaptation: Alexander O. Smith
What They Say
The fight against Ark is on in earnest when Ark member Ivy sends her spirits to attack Goryo and Ebisu! Meanwhile, Muhyo and gang attempt the impossible by trying to fuse a book of magic law with the Writ of Passage...will they succeed before Ark destroys them? Are you a victim of unwanted spirit possession? Is there a ghost you need sent up and away...or down to burn for all eternity? If the answer is yes, then you need Muhyo and Roji, experts in magic law. Serving justice to evil spirits is their specialty.
In the course of receiving review books from a publisher, sometimes we get a book out of the blue that we haven't hard other volumes of at all before, or we haven't had volumes for awhile. When this volume came in from Viz Media, I certainly found the title itself interesting and I wanted to take a peek at it to see what kind of book it was like and how easy it would be to jump into it. Of course, there's only four more volumes left after this, so it's a bit complicated, but there is something fun in trying to grapple with a property that's run for awhile to see how accessible it is.
Yoshiyuki Nishi has a series that probably isn't as complicated as it sounds from what these chapters go on about. The basic premise of a world where justice is dealt out to spirits by specially licensed operatives, with rankings up to Executioner, is potentially quite interesting since you can have spirits that play by the rules. The book focuses around a pair named Muhyo and Roji, where Muhyo is one of the best, a truly gifted yet entirely creepy looking pint sized Executioner who is surprisingly quiet. He's partnered with Kusano, who is nicknamed Roji and only just recently moved up from the bottom rung of the ladder. Roji is the bright and bubbly type that offsets Muhyo's nature pretty nicely.
This volume is not a good jumping on point, so much so that even the blurb near the front of the book that has a “Story So Far” segment makes no sense. There's a lot going on in this book and Nishi has what could be called an interesting sense of pacing for it. The core cast of characters and their friends are running around constantly and there's very little downtime to it. There's so much going on and so many different unique words to the book that I really had a very hard time deciphering events and figuring out who was who, even with the little batch of character bios at the front of the book. There certainly feels like there's a rich world within here, but the way its presented is not compelling or accessible.
Muhyo and Roji is the kind of book that doesn't want you to slow down at all. When you look at at the artwork and panel layouts, there isn't anything that gets you to soak up the visuals. Instead, it pushes you from panel to panel, filled with lots of little dialogue, multiple types of word balloons and lots of phrases that are very unique to the series. The character designs are very attractive, and I was intrigued by Muhyo the most, but there isn't much time spent to really look at them in a larger sense with any detail. Muhyo and Roji feels like a very rough and raw series and the nine chapters here showcases that, but it doesn't make it accessible in a way that makes you want to investigate it more. Instead it make you want to move on to something else, which is unfortunate, because it feels like there is something more here that's held back by the style.