Kekkaishi is one of the Fall 2006 anime that I didn’t watch. It’s also a long running shounen manga series by Yellow Tanabe with 7 volumes already out in the US. Since it’s sometimes nice to read the book before watching the story, I decided to hold off on the anime until finishing this book.
Kekkaishi is the story of Sumimura Yoshimori. He’s a “kekkaishi” in training who creates barriers in order to eradicate demons. The barriers usually form as big invisible cubes that form around the demon which are then collapsed, pwning the demon inside.
His rival is also his childhood friend, Yukimura Tokine. While their past was friendly, in actuality, they compete for the right to exterminate the demons. It’s complicated… Yoshimori also has to deal with his grandfather, who thinks Yoshimori is too lazy and doesn’t approve of his castle cake building dream. Yes, you read that correctly. Yoshimori’s has two dreams:
to become hokage to become stronger in order to protect Tokine and to build an awesome castle cake.
While the story is more mature than I had previously thought it would be, that really isn’t saying much. I originally wrote off Kekkaishi as a lame shounen action story. It still kind of is, but at least the characters have some depth. Yoshimori wants to protect Tokine because she was hurt due to his rash actions in the past. It’s obvious that there’s something going on between the two. Since this is a shounen series, it might not become much, though.
There’s also some off beat comedy thanks to Yoshimori’s grandpa, the ghost dessertier, and the whole castle cake subplot.
Character Designs and Art:
The character designs in Kekkaishi are really nothing special. Tokine is terribly generic, though cute anyway. The ghost dogs are pretty cool, and the demons are all fairly unique. I guess the demons are the heart of the manga anyway. The art also so-so. It can go from detailed to super deformed very quickly.
The Actual Book:
The book itself is average, too. The pages are not completely white, and not too thick. It’s an acceptable quality, for a manga though.
Kekkaishi is about as average a manga as you can get. On the surface, it looks like a generic shounen “I want to get stronger!” manga. On closer inspection, it is one. I do kind of want to see how the relationship between Yoshimori and Tokine progresses, though… Damn you, romantic plotlines!