Something you come to learn quickly as an adult is that your childhood is one that should have been cherished. Out parents used to tell us that, when we become adults, we will come to miss being children, but unfortunately as adolescents we often take things for granted, only fully understanding once that time has passed us by. For some, days of old were ones spent in anguish, building them to be the men and women they are today. Many will say that hardship build character, but seemingly at the cost of a lot more.
Rokuro Enmado had a childhood unlike any other. Training to be an Exorcist, he had no choice but to take up arms against fellow trainees who had succumb to the devilish influence of the Kegare, forced upon them by once-friend Yuto Ijika. This once seemingly innocent boy was the catalyst behind the Hinatsuki Tragedy, and he’s back to finish what he started. Given a choice, Rokuro must now decide whether or not to join Yuto in his plan to become the ultimate being, or to defeat him as revenge for all those years ago, and to save those around him from what would be their inevitable demise. The choice seems clear, but it’s execution will have both Rokuro and Benio walking the thin line that separates life and death.
Yoshiaki Sukeno’s Twin Star Exorcists has quickly become quite the hit with Shonen Jump audiences. It has become so popular, in fact, that it now has it’s own Anime adaptation. Sticking to the source material, I review volume four of the Manga; a series that has quickly proven to me that it is far more than meets the eye.
Benio and Rokuro must work together to wield their Resonance Attack against Benio’s own long-lost brother! Then, with Benio gravely injured, the Basara who killed her parents offers her a terrible alternative to death… – VIZ Media
Unlike many other Shonen Jump titles similar to that of Twin Star Exorcists, it feels as though this series has no character restraint, which is refreshing change from the norm. The main antagonist being a direct influence on the negative experience of Rokuro’s past, it is quite obvious that anger would take a front seat during their clash. In many other Manga, it would be made quite obvious that fighting with darkness in one’s heart is not the way to defeat your opponent. In Twin Star Exorcists, Rokuro is set free to aggressively beat his opponent to his heart’s content, coming to the conclusion that there are more effective ways to go about beating Yuto of his own accord.
Benio Adashino, who is the secondary protagonist of the series, up until this point in time has played second fiddle to Rokuro, being the one that he has come to defend in previous battles. In volume for of the series, she finally meets Rokuro in both strength and determination as she throws aside what was once holding her back for the sake of not only defeating her brother but also to save the lives of many, including Rokuro. Making a deal with her true archenemy, she shows signs of incredible maturity and personality realism, the likes of which I honestly never expected from here, at least…not at this point in time.
Twin Star Exorcists has an odd but interesting story layout, especially for that of a Shonen Jump series. It does not conform to many of the Shonen tropes outside of ones pertaining to battle. Usually in a series like this, the true antagonist of the series would not have made itself so present, but in Twin Star Exorcists the two protagonists have already been thrown into the fray only four volumes in. Twin Star Exorcists has a story structure that you wouldn’t normally associate with that of a Shonen Jump title, and while it does take a little getting used it, I think it’s an entirely positive aspect of this series.
I have mentioned this in the past, but I do feel as though it’s worth mentioning again: Considering Twin Star Exorcists is published by Shonen Jump, a publication directed entirely at young males, this series features an odd level of femininity within it’s visual style. As a twenty-something year old with no prejudices I have absolutely no issue with this, but I find it necessary to detail simply because of this publisher’s history. Regardless, I feel that the slightly feminine angle makes for some incredibly powerful parallels when compared to that of Yoshiaki Sukeno’s battle visuals.
Speaking of which; Sukeno is a masterful illustrator that can wonderfully portray movement of any kind. Unlike Manga like Terra Formars wherein which combat is often difficult to follow, Twin Star Exorcists features an incredibly detailed but easily understandable visual presence that flows like water even during the most erratic combat panels. Yoshiaki Sukeno also knows how to illustrate depth wonderfully, which adds fantastically to the epic nature of the large-scale battles present throughout the Manga. Grand in every single way.
Twin Star Exorcists is beautifully mature for what it is, and yet, being a Shonen Jump Manga, it still features everything you’d expect from it. For me, it was a massive hit instantly, and it has only proven to get more and more enjoyable as further volumes are released. It is a series that makes you care for the characters within it, and anticipate great action to come. It is as true a Shonen Manga as any other, but it features a whole other level of wonder just beneath the surface.
It is a series unlike any I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing before, and, at this point in time, it’s still in it’s early days. I honestly cannot see this series going down in quality as future volumes are released, but to that same note I’ve also seen incredible Manga fall flat over time. My hope for Twin Star Exorcists is that it continues on it’s path of greatness, never straying, always sticking to what it does best while developing what it needs to make it even greater. This is a series for all Shonen Jump fans, young or old, it’s not one to miss out on.
Check it out Twin Star Exorcists for yourself, purchase it through VIZ Media’s official online store: Click Here