Rasetsu Vol. #03 - Mania.com

Manga Review

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translation Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 978-1421527529
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Rasetsu

Rasetsu Vol. #03

Rasetsu Vol. #03 Manga Review

By Kate O'Neil     December 31, 2009
Release Date: December 01, 2009

Rasetsu Vol. #03
© Viz Media

Hidden hearts and past secrets are slowly being dragged into the light, but it’s still just the opening act and this love triangle has a long way to go.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Chika Shiomi
Translation: Kinami Watabe
Adaptation: Kinami Watabe

What They Say
Being haunted by spirits seems to run in the family--this time, it's Rasetsu's mother who needs help! Can Rasetsu dispel the spirit successfully with her own personal family issues weighing her down? Rasetsu Hyuga works for an exorcist agency where she uses her special powers to banish evil spirits. There's a story behind the red flower mark on her chest though--it's a memento left by a powerful spirit who vowed to claim her on her 20th birthday. Unless Rasetsu can find true love by then, she is fated to become his...

The Review!
Continuing with the ghost busting business “Rasetsu” volume 3 takes a break from the case by case structure of the first two volumes.  This volume is broken into three cases that build on the pasts of the various leads and helps to move the relationships along.

The first chapter has Rasetsu returning to her mothers home to help her with a haunting of her own.  Rasetsu’s mother is not what I was expecting.  She looks very young, and I’m not sure if it’s because she is young or if it’s just the artists style.  Personality wise, she’s nothing like her daughter, but shows all the motherly concern you would expect.  Rasetsu almost instantly goes into standoffish teenager mode which leaves Yako and Kuryu standing around uncomfortably.  Rasetsu never liked her name and felt her father must have hated her.  It turns out that wasn’t true, of course, but it opens an opportunity for the boys to offer some emotional support for her.  In Kuryu’s case though he could have chosen his words more carefully, because his closing statement backfires spectacularly and sets his efforts to win Rasetsu’s affection back several steps.

The second case focuses on a high school student Dai, the younger brother of a former classmate of Yako’s, who is being haunted.  The ghost haunting him is his girlfriend who died in a traffic accident.  The pain is eating away at Dai and the team has to work to force Dai to see that it’s his own pain drawing evil spirits towards him.  Dai lets spill some of the details on Yako’s past relationship with his ghostly girlfriend, but it’s nothing that the readers don’t already know.  Rasetsu, in a cute scene, finally realizes she’s falling for Yako and reacts with total panic and aggression.  Yako remains clueless to Rasetsu’s feelings and to the fact that Kuryu has his own eyes set on winning Rasetsu’s heart.

The last chapter is a side story flashback that tells of how Aoi, the office administrative assistant, came to work for the agency.  It provides some fleshing out of his character and of the Chief’s abilities.  The Chief comes across as a much more sympathetic character by the end of this volume.

There’s an odd translation bit in the first chapter where Rasetsu’s mother addresses Yako as “Yako-chan.”  It’s the only place in the entire volume where Japanese honorifics are used and I didn’t notice it until a later chapter where a teacher is addressed with a “Ms.”  The artwork seems to have leveled out since the beginning with the character designs showing less discrepancies.

In Summary
The love triangle wheels have started to turn but the story is still in first gear.  I’m not entirely sure about Kuryu either, he just seems sinister.  It could all be a clever ruse!  The multi-chapter case in this volume helped make that ghost story more engaging.  Things are picking up and I’m curious to see what will inevitably lead Yako to falling for Rasetsu.



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