Twin Star Exorcists Volume 1

twin star exorcists manga cover art 01

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Twin Star Exorcists Volume 1
Released By: Viz Media
Released: 7/7/15
Reviewed: 1/26/16
Rated: 13+

Story

The main character of this story is a teenager named Rokuro doesn’t want to go into the family business of exorcism due to a traumatic experience a couple of years prior. The problem is that Rokuro isn’t good at anything except exorcisms. One day, Rokuro meets a beautiful young girl named Benio who seems ill mannered but he promptly forgets about her until one of the chief exorcists of the area declares that not only are the two meant to get married but they will also have a child who will grow up to be the most powerful exorcist ever. Now these two teenagers must learn to get along well enough to work together and (hopefully) eventually become romantic with each other so that the endless war between the exorcists and the evil spirits they fight can come to an end!

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The Good and the Bad

Twin Star Exorcist is a series that I’ve been meaning to read for months but just could never find the time to do so until now. Now that I’ve completed the first volume, I have to admit that while I’m not blown out of the water I am sad that I didn’t get to this series sooner.

From the creator of Good Luck Girl comes this new shonen series which on the surface will seem like nothing but cliche after cliche piled on top of each other in an attempt to make something that resembles a story. Admittedly throughout the first couple of chapters I was having a hard time seeing the bigger picture because I was too busy focusing on the little tropes that were popping up one after another including the tragic teenage hero who has a mysterious power that no one seems to know about, the beautiful female lead who is being forced into the love interest role, the battles that would kill any normal person, etc, etc. What I eventually realized however is that this is another one of those stories where you just have to let yourself be immersed in what is happening and go along for the ride because once you do that, this is actually a fairly fun opening volume. What’s weird about this opening volume though is that even though it’s entertaining and an enjoyable read, I’m having trouble putting into words what about it is so enjoyable.

The easiest way to describe this volume is the manga equivalent of a popcorn flick. Yes, it’s very cliche and predictable but this isn’t a story that’s meant to be totally original and thought provoking. At the end of the day this opening volume just wants to entertain in a fun way and on that front it succeeds because sometimes you don’t need a series to be completely deep or full of hidden meanings and metaphors. This isn’t a thesis on rocket science, this is an action manga about teenagers who travel to a spiritual realm where they exorcise evil spirits… with their fists!

At times the story and action will be goofy in all sorts of different ways. Some people will see this and roll their eyes, I chose to indulge myself and laugh at the silliness that includes a mysterious master exorcist who is literally first seen in his underwear running away from some men who wish to do him harm thanks to his tryst with a woman that he probably should’ve known to stay away from. Is it ridiculous? You’re damn right it is and honestly this is just one example of all the different ways and times that Twin Star Exorcists will attempt to just make you smile and have a little chuckle.

twin star exorcists manga 06Artwork

With so many action sequences in this first volume, the art has to be pretty amazing in order to capture it all and not leave the reader bored stiff. Luckily the art is done quite well in both the more domestic scenes and the action packed scenes. The author of this series did a fantastic job of creating panel after panel of interesting art. The backgrounds are nicely done and the character designs are pleasing to the eye to look at which is always a nice treat.

Overall

This isn’t brilliance but as I keep saying over and over again, it’s not meant to be. This is meant to be popcorn action that leaves you on the edge of your seat wanting to see yet another evil spirit being destroyed with the main character’s bare hands and on that level it does its job. While I’m hoping that things calm down a little in the next volume, I’m at least pleased to say that I am not only willing to read the next volume… I am down right excited to check it out!

Final Grade: B