Author: Yoshiaki Sukeno Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback
Page count: 208
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Rokuro has been fighting his fate throughout the first 4 books; however, volume 5 shows the transformation readers have been waiting for. After 4 volumes of running from the past and being chased by Kegare, Rokuro realizes that he needs to become the most powerful exorcist. This time around, the motivation is different from his childhood aspirations.
Volume 5 is filled with your typical feast of shonen battles, which might be a bit boring for those of us who are reading more for story. Fortunately, the battle between Benio and Rokuro vs. Yuto is very revealing and gives us a lot of backstory to roll with. Yuto is definitely not a nice brother and seriously deserves getting his ass kicked. Of course, Benio and Rokuro aren’t strong enough and struggle dearly for their lives in this fight. Eventually Rokuro takes the lead over Benio once she’s incapacitated and all he has left to keep the fight going is heart. Here, he reminds me a lot of our hero from Black Clover, who just keeps pressing forward regardless of how out-matched he is.
In this volume, Benio’s role as a manga trope is telling. Like Mikasa from Attack on Titan, she is seen as strong and determined. She has a past that haunts her and motivates her to move forward. Likewise, Benio’s bullish and loner personality get her into situations that make her ineffectual as a hero. She drags Rokuro into a situation that neither of them are prepared for and it nearly costs them their lives. Unfortunately, it costs someone important a limb, and it could have been avoided.
Rokuro and Benio become acutely aware of their reckless(although well-intended) actions and are immediately reprimanded when they recover from their injuries. While the battle was useless in terms of pushing back the Kegare and Yuto, it serves as a transformation point for Rokuro mentally. He finally stops running from his past and his future and accepts his destiny. Whether he accepts being a Twin Star because he hopes to defeat the Kegare and return to normal life or truly wants to be an exorcist isn’t 100% clear. What is obvious; however, is that he knows for now he must become the best exorcist he can. I suspect this will fuel his actions throughout the remainder of the series.
At first I was skeptical of this volume. The first chunk of it comprises of pages and pages of fighting. Fortunately, the author balances it out wonderfully with the slow unraveling of the plot coupled with the maturation of Rokuro. Sukeno also slips in some nice foreshadowing through a dream segment that actually tricked me for several pages. The writing in this volume is top notch and reminds me of why I’m enjoying the series. The author utilizes several literary tools that really fit nicely into the manga genre. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
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