Filed under: Ao no Futsumashi, Katou Kazue, Manga | Tags: Ao no Futsumashi, exorcist of blue, Jump SQ, Katou Kazue, Manga
Ao no Futsumahi (or Exorcist of Blue) by Katou Kazue is everything that can be right with shounen manga. I feel we can thank Jump SQ for this fact because the magazine seems to promote general greatness in it’s series (as evidenced by having Tegami Bachi, Kure-nai, and Hello Baby, which I reviewed the other day.)
The story involves the son of Satan who was raised by a priest while unaware of his lineage. Satan kills the priest and wants his son’s body for use as a vessel in the human world. So pissed off is his son that he swears to kill his father, and thus decides to become an exorcist. At exorcist school. Yes, this is a magic academy story.
I admit I was a little wary when I realized this was actually a magic academy series (you won’t until the second chapter) but a number of twists sustained my interest quickly, namely when the main character’s younger brother turns out to secretly be a powerful exorcist and instructor of his class!
These first few chapters introduce us to the ragtag group of classmates in the secret exorcist classes at the academy, some of whom are immediately endearing. My favorite is the big guy who looks like a gangster and has an aggressive personality, but is actually a hyper-intellectual that is obsessed with studying to become a high-level cleric. We’ve also got the main character’s pseudo-love-interest who is painfully kind and just wants to make friends, as well as a classically-styled bitch girl whose weakness is thrown in her face in chapters five and six. I think we’ll see some great development from her.
Perhaps the most notable facet of this manga, though, is the art. Backgrounds flourish and create well-imagined locales that give a teal sense of existing through extensive detail. Monsters range from classic beasts to more original creations and the combat with them is very nicely orchestrated. Character designs are recognizable and memorable and really sell the personalities of the characters. I am particularly fond of the way the main character looks in demon mode.
I really want to blog this series chapter-by-chapter as it comes out, so I look forward to the next release as long as J.A.C. continues to work on it. Hopefully this can be for me what Soul Eater has become for Digital Boy.
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