Who the hell do you think you are, huh? Going around saying things like; “A Shonen Manga can’t have shocking revelations so early on in it’s run“. It makes me sick to my stomach knowing that there are people like you making such-oh, wait…you didn’t say anything like that? Seriously? Geez, well, I’m so sorry, I kind of flew off the handle there for no reason. It just scares me to think that maybe somewhere out in the big, bad world people might be saying things of this kind, especially because of how much I’m liking Shonen Jump’s latest Manga hit Twin Star Exorcists, which just so happens to feature it’s fair share of shocking twists.
Volume two of the Manga left off with one heck of a cliffhanger: It was revealed that Rokuro was at the very center of the Hinatsuki tragedy, and as a cause of it was cursed with his Kegare-like right arm. Volume three of Twin Star Exorcists decides that one twist was not nearly enough. In fact, it was just the first of many sequential twists to come, making this more akin to an M. Night Shyamalan film than that of your standard Shonen, but guess what? Every twist was more impactful than the last, and it made for one hell of a good volume!
Thank you, once again, to Madman Entertainment for allowing us to review the latest volume of Yoshiaki Sukeno’s hit supernatural Manga that, as I’m lead to believe, is in the process of taking the world by storm. Let’s just hope it’s new Anime adaptation does justice to the source material we’re currently discussing.
Benio learns both why Rokuro ran amok at Hinatsuki Dorm and a secret about her beloved brother. Then, when a friend is possessed by the curse of the Kegare, Rokuro is faced with a terrible decision… – Madman Entertainment
Now, my seemingly unnecessary, but ultimately hilarious, way of opening up this review was not done sheerly for the sake of it, I do believe that many people consider most of what is published between the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump to be, for lack of a better term, simple. This is somewhat true; the Shonen genre does stick to the basics, but often you’ll find that a series that calls this particular publisher it’s home will know how to circumvent the trap of fundamental writing. Most of the globe’s favorite series’, when researched closely, will reveal themselves to be quite a lot smarter than you would have first imagined, and it just so happens that Twin Star Exorcist show’s it’s intelligence through revelations that, while coming across as cliche, are written in ways that make you think twice about the use of “Shonen Tropes“.
Before we go on, I’d just like to make a comment regarding spoilers for the series: I do not plan on going into specifics regarding Twin Star Exorcists story, so feel free to read on as you please without the anxiety that comes with the possibility of a spoiler.
Up until this point, the series hadn’t outlined a true antagonist, but it is within the pages of the third volume that we, the audience, are made privy to the creature that will serve as Rokuro and Benio’s adversary from now until it’s eventual demise, leaving only death and destruction in it’s wake. This particular character ties back in with the Hinatsuki Tragedy and unlocks a level of emotion not yet seen in both Rokuro and Benio. The introduction of this antagonist allowed for the true natures of the characters previously introduced to shine through brighter than ever before, revealing them to be much more than your standard Shonen trope-based personalities. Rokuro’s once-torturous teacher, Seigen, becomes the would-be hero of the volume, doing everything he possibly can for the sake of their lives, all the while showing true love for his student rather than the sheer animosity that makes him so feared. Benio too had her time to grow as a character; rather than jumping to conclusions regarding Rokuro and the Hinatsuki Tragedy, she ponders the situation in quite the mature manner, giving Rokuro the benefit of the doubt and explaining that she simply does not know him well enough to judge him so swiftly; something not often seen in a Manga of this kind.
Along side the surprisingly mature nature of these characters, volume three, as mentioned, introduced us to a clear series enemy; the likes of which we have seen many times before in Shonen Manga, but that I think fits perfectly into a story of this kind. It is always nice reading through the early stages of a Shonen story wherein which nothing is entirely set in stone, and the exploits of the main protagonists aren’t as dire, but it is when it gets to this stage that things start getting even more interesting. Now that we know the semi-truth of the situation at hand, the series will be able to dive head-first into the bulk of the story, which truly is the most exciting part of any Manga, not only those of the Shonen variety. Volume three has lead the story into the next big arc of the series, one that I can only imagine will serve as the quintessential arc of Twin Star Exorcists. Naruto had the Chunin Exam arc, Bleach had the Rescue Rukia arc, and it’s only a matter of time before Twin Star Exorcists gives us an arc to remember for the rest of our lives.
I remember that, in my first review of the series, I mentioned that I wasn’t too big a fan of the illustration style of Yoshiaki Sukeno, saying that some of his drawing were too dainty to fit into a Shonen Manga. It seems as though, over the three volumes released, he has quickly honed his Shonen-style, now working with a clean illustration sense that is somehow able to portray an overwhelming grittiness, especially when it comes to panels featuring the demon-like Kegare. While his character designs still have a certain femininity, it is less obvious than it once was. It could just be that this volume was jam-packed with high-octane battle panels, but I truly do think he has figured out the perfect version of his own art style to suit a Shonen series such as Twin Star Exorcists.
His illustration style has become bold and cinematic, making for some of the more dynamic panel work I’ve seen in quite some time. If the story of Twin Star Exorcists doesn’t make you want to read this Manga, then I can assure you the illustration style will. Sukeno knows how to illustrate movement and action, and understands what kind of composition makes up an interesting and engaging panel. The visual quality of Twin Star Exorcists has hit an all-time high, and I’m hoping that it will only get better from hereon out considering how well he has taken to the Shonen format.
I chose to begin reading Twin Star Exorcists based solely on a whim. That month, it happened to be a new Manga that was starting up, it had the word Exorcists in the title, and it happened to be published by Shonen Jump. Those three factors combined practically forced me into taking it on for review, and three volumes on…I’m so glad I did! Twin Star Exorcists has become one of my favorite modern Shonen Jump titles alongside series like My Hero Academia, and Food Wars! Shokugeki No Soma. I think it has what it takes to stand proud alongside some of the Shonen Jump greats and, in time, will come to be seen as one of the few series’ that withstand the test of time to be enjoyed by a generation not our won.
I have high hopes for the future of Twin Star Exorcists, and that doesn’t come from a place of blind trust, it has been proven to me within thanks to the contents of the three volumes currently released in Australia. It is a Manga I will be, and have been, recommending to everyone I know, my hope is that it picks up a nice following and doesn’t not fall to the wayside like many other great Shonen Jump Manga…sorry, Psyren. This is a series not to miss out on. Jump on it now while it’s still young, and watch it grow into something incredible.
A star is born! Actually…two stars! Witness them at Madman Entertainments official website: Click Here