Review: Kekkaishi Vol 26 by Yellow Tanabe

 

Title: Kekkaishi Vol 26

Author: Yellow Tanabe

Publisher: Viz

ISBN: 978-1421536873

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Yoshimori tries to perfect the technique of emptying his mind. Some of his friends might consider this not too much of a challenge… Meanwhile, the leader of the Shadow Organization gives some shocking new orders, leading to horrific consequences for the Karasumori Site—and Yoshimori is implicated! Will Soji help him by spilling some beans…or remain as tight-lipped as ever? Then, things get even scarier with the arrival of—clowns!

Review:

I have loved this series from the first volume, and now, 26 volumes later, it is still one of my favorites.  It just keeps getting better and better, and the characters continue to develop and endear themselves to me.  Yoshimori comes across as a slacker, but in reality, he is hard-working, dedicated, and determined to protect the people he cares for.  It’s just hard to get his attention sometimes.  There are times that it’s hard to keep him focused on the task at hand.  But once you have his attention, watch out.  Yoshimori’s fondness for naps is nothing next to his stubbornness.  Once he makes up his mind to do something, it is impossible to stop him.  He is a person who can move mountains – literally.

In this volume, Yoshimori has dedicated himself to mastering the technique of emptying his mind.  I thought that this task would prove simple for him, because he often comes across as having nothing going on upstairs.  But I’ve misjudged him.  Learning to empty his mind is proving to be a challenging, and also dangerous task.  To lighten the mood of impending doom, he is busily scribbling sketches of his spiritual companion.  Once chosen, his companion can’t be changed.  With the gravity of this situation at hand, Yoshimori manages to produce the most impractical, and amusing, character designs.  Cake Man?  Seriously?  I hope that this does not turn out to be his manager’s final form.

The intrigue is ratcheting up to almost unbearable levels.  Masamori is getting in over his head, and I am seriously starting to worry about his continued health.  As entire departments of the Shadow Organization are being slaughtered with little regard for the lost lives, he is also finding fewer and fewer allies to fall back on.  Masamori never had many friends, so he is quickly running out of allies to help him defeat the dangers facing the Shadow Organization, and worse, he is becoming even more of a target.  Someone might as well paint a giant bull’s eye on his chest, because that is what he has become – a convenient target to be killed.

Each new volume of Kekkaishi stills leaves me wanting more, and few series share that distinction.  The characters are quirky and likeable, the suspense is intense, and the action explodes across the pages during combat sequences.  Best yet, the villains, while certainly terrifying and hateful, are also given depth so that the reader feels a tug of sympathy, no matter how begrudgingly given, for them.  Everyone has a compelling backstory, and when it comes right down to it, it’s the fully-fleshed characters that keep me coming back for more.

Grade: A

Review copy purchased from Rightstuf

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