October Manga, part 1 – short reviews

BLUE EXORCIST, vol 4 by Kazue Kato
Viz Media, 2011, 200 pages, 978-1-4215-4047-4, Paperback, $9.99

Genre: Manga

In this volume of Blue Exorcist, we finally get to see what happens when Rin loses some of his control. We also begin to learn what the repercussions will be now that his secret has been revealed.

I have a feeling, however, that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, as it were. So far Rin hasn’t had much interaction with his classmates since the incident in the forest. After the way Bon and the others insisted that they were his friends earlier in the volume, the reader is left with the tension of knowing that things probably won’t go back to the way they were. At least not any time soon. In fact, the entire situation leaves a note of worry behind. After all, Rin is so good-natured–imagining that his friends will abandon him is really rather awful.

Beyond the main plot points involving Rin and, as ever, Mephisto (oh, what is he up to?), the good bits from this volume are between Yukio and Shura. Their rivalry is amusing since, as characters, they’re practically polar opposites. Yet Shura continually manages to surpass Yukio despite her lackadaisical behavior, which, for him, is utterly infuriating.

And, now, to my usual commentary on this series’ art. Have I mentioned yet that I love how Kato gives his women just a little bit of squish?

GRAND GUIGNOL ORCHESTRA, vol. 4 by Kaori Yuki
Viz Media, 2011, 208 pages, 978-1-4215-3872-3, Paperback, $9.99

Genre: Manga/Gothic

Volume four of Grand Guignol Orchestra answers several questions about the story’s events and the characters’ motivations. Compared to volume three, the pace is much is better, and the substance is deeper.

What I like is finally understanding Lucille a little better. I don’t feel that we’re completely privy to his every thought, but his character does become more transparent. We also learn more about Kohaku, which was unexpected, but considering that all of the other characters have had their stories play out, I was happy that he didn’t get left out. On the other hand, the bits of his background that we’re given aren’t nearly as extensive as the revelations about Gwindel. Then again, his situation was far more straightforward, and far less creepy.

In addition to the truth behind Le Senat, we also get a little more background on Berthier. Even though he’s completely insane, I can’t help but feel sorry for him. The same is true of the queen. The more we learn about her, the more I feel that this entire series is based on the idea that “life isn’t fair.” But, of course, this is Kaori Yuki we’re talking about.

The next volume will be the last, so I presume we’ll be able to see Lucille face off with the queen. But considering how volume four ends, I suspect it won’t be as straightforward as all that.

~

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2 responses to “October Manga, part 1 – short reviews

  1. We’re on volume 4 of both of these ALREADY? That’s somewhat depressing…
    I love Mephisto…can’t wait to see what he’s up to… And Grand Guignol is ending next volume? *cries* I want to see what they say about Kohaku….I love him so much.
    Thanks for the reviews!

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