April 21, 2013
Yuki Amemiya / Yukino Ichihara – Viz – 2012 – 15+ volumes
I got the first two volumes of this series at the same time. I thought they had come out together (turns out this isn’t true), and I remembered the last time that happened was with Blue Exorcist, which is an amazing series. So I picked up the first volume of this, thinking I was going to be blown away. I… probably shouldn’t have started with such high hopes.
Honestly? It’s a very standard shounen manga, at least so far. Teito is a small kid whose favor among the higher-ups at the Military Academy he attends earns him a fair amount of flak from other students. But his skills in battle (using some sort of esoteric electronic-type battle system) are the real thing, and he’s one of the few students that passes his final exam. But chaos reigns after this, as a misplaced word to a superior triggers some memories of his orphaned childhood he doesn’t want, and the former favored student of the academy becomes a criminal that’s being actively hunted by the military. Teito takes sanctuary in a nearby enormous church, the one place the military isn’t allowed to track criminals into, and as his memories continue to unlock, he learns more and more about the church.
One of the problems is that all this is abridged. The battle system isn’t explained well, why a misplaced remark suddenly turns him into a criminal isn’t adequately explained, especially since he’s a kid and one of the few recent graduates they have, the setting isn’t explained well, and while I do believe his memories are meant to be a mystery revealed at a later date, the way they keep coming back to him here is just confusing, rather than mysterious. The church has this whole separate thing going, with seven grim reaper-like guardians protecting them from some evil, all of which apparently still exist, monsters track Teito down in the chuch, some of the higher up members he defend have yet another inadequately-explained scythe battle system, his friend from military school has been turned against him and his good soul killed, Teito winds up being some sort of political prisoner from the past, there are two very powerful stones that Teito can apparently control, and WHAT IS GOING ON HERE THIS IS ONLY ONE VOLUME.
Seriously. I have the next two, which I hope will clear up some of the rushed mess in this volume, and I will give it a chance. Whatever is going on in the church does sound kind of cool, if it eventually makes sense, and it seems to have been made into a very popular anime and is still running at 15 volumes, so it must eventually get better. It also runs in the magazine Zero-Sum, which has some pretty awesome series, so I do have some hope for later volumes. I’m going to read what I have and see how it goes from there.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.