Like it or not; we all have things from our past that we simply cannot escape. Bad memories, bad experiences, things that tested us both physically and mentally; often we wish that they could simply be erased, so we run from them. The problem is…we cannot run forever. Eventually the things we fear so gravely will catch up to us, this is an inevitability. For the Twin Star Exorcists Rokuro and Benio, their pasts are filled with nothing but tragedy; memories they wish they could escape, but never will.
Volume two of Twin Star Exorcists has just been released down here in Australia thanks to Madman Entertainment, and with it comes the bombshell of a lifetime that has truly kicked this Shonen Jump Manga into second gear, readying it for the first big arc of the series; something a seasoned Shonen reader knows can make or break a Manga. Hopefully it’s not the latter.
Twin Star Exorcists volume two stays in much the same realm as the first volume with it’s Shonen story elements mixed in with a young, oddball, romance setting that is somewhat reminiscent of more slice-of-life Manga than that which is present in the pages of a Shonen Jump production. The series has variety and it knows when to cut the silly humour so as to move on with the more pressing plot points at hand, which is absolutely necessary in a series like this that clearly likes to have it’s cake and eat it too.
We get a glimpse of character development as the volume gets deeper into the story, but it’s the cliffhanger at the very end that impressed me more than any other story element brought up throughout. I’d hate to spoil it for those of you who’ve yet to read it so I’ll refrain from going into detail. What I’ll say is; it gave us, the audience, a look at the tragedy that brought Rokuro’s career as an exorcist to a grinding halt while at the same time taking a leaf out of Naruto’s book and giving the reader a reason to fear this series’ main character.
I still have not gotten used to Twin Star Exorcists’ strange brand of juvenile romance and I feel as though it doesn’t necessarily have a place in Shonen Manga, not when it’s to this degree, but the story relies on the two main characters being a couple and I feel as though, until we see a mature turn for both the Twin Star Exorcists and their relationship as a whole, I will have to deal with the awkward interactions and dialogue exchanges.
As I had mentioned in the review of volume one; Twin Star Exorcist doesn’t seem to know what it is visually. At times, the characters (both male and female) seem overly fragile which would be more suited to a Shojo series rather than a Shonen, but during story progressions that show combat, what we’re reading sits at the very other end of the spectrum: It’s harah, gritty, sometimes even frightening, but no matter what…it’s so awesome! I think the feminine visuals of the Manga help to accentuate the grotesque attributes of the Kegare (the demons of the series) and to draw attention to the personality differences between these characters living their everyday lives, and these characters when their fighting for survival.
Twin Star Exorcist is not a Manga known by many fans of the medium in the West…but it should be. It features most of what you want from a Shonen Manga but brings in enough of it’s own interesting and unique elements to keep it fresh page after page. Sure, the Tsundere-style relationship each and every character has with one another can be quite annoying, but in only two volumes we’ve already seen character growth, I can only imagine that things will continue to change as the series goes on.
Regardless, what I’m reviewing is volume two and it was one that kept me interested from the first page to the last, keeping in mind that I did rush through the unnecessary child-like banter midway through. I would recommend this to the people out there who’re interested in seeing what the new age of Shonen Jump has to offer, and while it’s not the very best series in publication now…it’s still one of the good ones.
A star is born! Actually…two stars! Witness them at Madman Entertainments official website: Click Here