Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation Vol. #17 -

Manga Review

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Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation Vol. #17

Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation Vol. #17 Manga Review

By Chris Kirby     October 05, 2010
Release Date: June 01, 2010

Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation
© Viz Media

The final showdown begins in epic fashion.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Yoshiyuki Nishi
Translation: Alexander O. Smith
Adaptation: Alexander O. Smith

What They Say
A mysterious soul-sucking orb called Vector and a band of dangerous ghosts take over one of the Magic Law Association prisons. Unfortunately, Muhyo has fallen into a deep sleep and isn't waking up! With Muhyo out for the count, who will come to the Association's rescue?

The Review!

The volume opens up with Muhyo finally awake to help take care of Q-La.  With some quick thinking Muhyo is able to stabilize her but her life force (tempering) is still draining.  Q-La is admitted to the M.L.A.’s hospital and Muhyo falls back asleep. These events happen really fast in the first chapter and immediately gives a strong sense of urgency that helps get the reader into the mood quickly as to catch their attention.  While it is not uncommon to see such “attention-grabbing” scenes, I found it very refreshing to see this the instant the volume starts.  Depending upon how you read a series, you may not be fully engrossed in the story when picking up a new volume and this was a great way to jump-start that interest.
After a quick check into the hospital to see all the people affected by the same mysterious illness as Q-La; Muhyo and Roji receive an urgent letter from the M.L.A., the Northern HQ has been captured and conquered by a ghost named Vector! The manner in which the M.L.A agents describe Vector was very interesting, they don’t know that much about it and we are only given as much as they know. This technique helps create a feeling of dread and curiosity about this new threat.  It is revealed that Vector can spread spirit roots that attach to people and drain their tempering. This is the cause of the mysterious illness and also why Muhyo can’t stay awake!  It is also revealed that Vector is the one who has kidnapped Nana.
At the Northern HQ, Nana awakens to discover the city overrun by various grotesque “evolving” ghosts capturing and killing the local citizens. There she meets an young M.L.A agent Sanpu.  Sanpu has avoided capture and has been providing the M.L.A information on the ongoings of Northern HQ as well setting up a strategy that may help in the upcoming battle. The scenes at the Northern HQ are very cool. The level of detail and uniqueness to all the ghosts add a feeling of fear as we identify with Nana as well as a feeling of adventure because we know an epic showdown is right around the corner and seeing these ghosts use their powers and battle the M.L.A. is already feeling like something to look forward to. Sanpu is a pretty interesting character as well. He is heralded as a genius like Muhyo and here we get to see a little of what he is capable of but more than anything he is likable an adds an interesting element to the story.
At M.L.A HQ, all the agents have amassed to plan a strategy for the coming war with Vector. Here we meet a new executioner, George Schyuter, who immediately shows that he is not one to be messed with. They also discover that Vector’s goal is to revive the great spirit Kurugi and spawn a half-ghost half-human child!  Muhyo and Roji are ordered to stay at HQ since Muhyo is of no use because he cannot wake up and the rest of the agents immediately head off to the Northern HQ and begin the war with Vector.
During the battle, the ghosts show how much they’ve evolved and prove worthy adversaries to the M.L.A and Vector proves to be smarter than the average ghost.  This battle is really exciting!  Seeing every ones’ powers being put to use and the feeling that not everyone will make it out alive really gives this battle a sense of adventure and mystery.  The various powers on display are pretty cool and I found myself wondering whose techniques would work best against the different ghosts and who would be valuable against Vector.
After Vector turns the tables on the M.L.A, Kurugi is awakened with great power at its disposal, Schyuter shows just how bad-ass he is and in the final page Muhyo awakens ready for battle! This war is shaping up quite nicely and I am very eager to see how things play out, especially since there appears to be a lot more to Vector than simply wanting to take over the world!
In Summary:
While this is the second to last volume in the series, this is actually the first volume I have read.  I was extremely impressed by the characters and the urgency of this arc.  I have no idea how Roji has grown over the series but I immediately felt that it was going to be Roji’s time to shine, to step out from under Muhyo’s shadow and become the hero.  The pacing is very quick in this volume but all the information needed in order for me to understand what was going on was paced out perfectly.  This was a very exciting volume and really is setting up a grand exit for the series that makes me wonder just how good the rest of the series is.  With how the characters interact and how rich the world is set up, I am sure the previous volumes are just as exciting as this one! Time to check ‘em out!


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