My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Buried under the boy’s manga themes of fight scenes and big bosomed girls wearing next to nothing, are some interesting ideas. I’m liking this manga more than I expected to. We start to get to know the real Rin in this volume, beneath the bluster. The brothers’ relationship is examined and it is inherently uneven. Rin, the protector, is all about his muscles. His twin, Yukio, is the studious one and at True Cross Academy the power is actually all Yukio’s as he’s already an instructor and well, Rin is barely literate. In personality they remind me a bit of the Elric brothers but Rin isn’t as smart as Edward and Yukio is a bit harder than Alphonse.
Interwoven into the story lines, which include a demon cat who was the familiar of the priest who raised the boys and the ghost of a boy at an amusement park, is the idea that Rin avoided school for two reasons, one he wanted to protect the weaker kids, like his twin but was so freakishly strong he hurt kids and two, the kids and adults learned to fear him. He doesn’t have friends, doesn’t know how to have them. At the Academy he’s learning to be a normal kid.
But it might already be too late. Rin is relying more and more on the blue flame, his Satanic heritage, to fight with and the magic sword is barely enough to contain him. Case in point, another demon who may or may not be helping the humans steals the sword and Rin loses control. Enter Shura, an exorcist who was also the priest’s apprentice. She may have to kill Rin if he can’t control himself.
Rin, Shiemei and some of their classmates are sent into demon-infested woods for training camp. Yukio and Shura are quick to point out that Rin will be unable to use his power because it’ll be seen in the dark but once Shiemei is hurt, can Rin not use his powers to save her.
Ignoring the ridiculous outfits and boobs on Shura, the art is very nice and the storyline is maturing. I’m looking forward to seeing more.
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