Creator: Junya Inoue
Length: 6 Volumes
Official Site: View
+ Gorgeous artwork
+ Fast paced plot
5 out of 5 · Highly Recommended
Otogi Matsuri Manga Review
Written by: Karthon
This story takes place in Miyakono Town, where a murder has just taken place. The victim, an elderly priest, was horribly dismembered. Since the police have been unable to determine a murderer, or
even a killing method and weapons, the towns people have begun to spread various rumors, one if which is that a huge monster is responsible.
Yousuke is eating lunch one day when he accidentally bumps into a small shrine, breaking it. At that moment a bright flash enters his body. It turns out to be a Jingi (sacred weapon) known as Suzaku's Bow. He uses this new found power to help protect the new transfer student, named Inaba Yomogi (the grand-daughter of the priest who was killed) from the monster which appears to hunter her down. But the price of being able to wield this power is that it cost him "his future". Yomogi, who is the only other person with the spiritual power to see the Jingi, says this might mean Yousuke will die soon.
To prevent this from occuring, Yousuke must defeat the 12 Kensoku (demonic creatures representing the balance of ying and yang) which are beginning to attack the town. To help him are three other people, also cursed with Jingi. Will they succeed in time? Or will all their sacrifices be for naught?
I love the art for this series, the characters are very expressive and the backgrounds are gorgeous. The monsters are highly detailed varied, as well are the locales (Yousuke and his companions have to go various places to fend off the incursions of the Kensoku). Just a warning for the faint of stomach, some of the battle scenes are very bloody and the highly detailed nature of all the art just accentuates this.
The plot moves along at a steady pace, sacrificing back story in favor of current action. This is not a critique against the story however; there is no need for a back story because all the relevant events began when the manga began. The main characters are entertaining, although their actions are a bit unrealistic (Yousuke actually chases after the six-legged cat demon that's following Yomogi, even before he learned about his powers). Still, the heroism that Yousuke displays is well balanced by the traits of the other Jingi users.
Overall, the lovely art and fast paced yet engrossing plot far outweigh any short comings of the characters. I highly recommend this series to anyone, even those with queasy stomachs. Give the first couple chapters a chance if you've ever got the time.
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