Posts Tagged ‘Volume 7’

Sōsei became a permanent member of Squad Zero and found out the truth behind the death of his twin sister. The rest of the VIUS members are now focusing on the upcoming Exhibition Tournament, perhaps more so than the year before since Issa is now the captain elect.

Story overview:

Leila tells her Master, Shimon, that she feels like she’s always being rescued by others. He asks her if she would like to switch squads, but she tells him that she loves her squad. Catching up with Sōsei, both he and Leila watch the official opening to the preliminaries of the 29th Exhibition Tournament. Akira (from Squad One) easily defeats his opponent as does Sōsei in the next match. The following matches are with Hibiki (who wins against his opponent), and then Leila (who does not win against her opponent).

Meanwhile, Issa (along with Sakuraba (Shun’ichi)) is stuck welcoming all the dignitaries from other cities.  As everyone is distracted, two Dracules infiltrate Mikuni city. Once all the dignitaries are seated and ready for the Tournament to begin, Issa takes the first match against one of his old squad members, Lan-Lan. She tries to defeat Issa because she is worried that he is being setup for a worse fate, but after some teasing and friendly banter, Issa gets serious and takes her down.

Leila goes to apologies to her master for losing in the preliminaries. On her way back she gets lost and stumbles across the path of a Dracule (Daraku), which/who just so happens to be the one she hid from in a closet in a former volume. Needless to say she is captured. Sōsei gets concerned that it is taking Leila too long to return, so he goes and looks for her only to end up being captured himself. Meanwhile the anticipated battle between Hibiki and Akira commences—with the current outcome not looking so good for Hibiki.

My thoughts:

As the author says, “A new story arc has begun! During these chapters, someone will mature, and a certain mystery will be cleared up . . .” Just as one mystery unfolds another takes its place. This is the kind of story that keeps one wanting more. Top notch.

Things to consider:

Ratings stay the same: thirteen plus. As mentioned in a former volume, Issa has a weakness for breasts. And Lan-Lan takes advantage of this weakness to try and defeat him. It is done in good humor, but I can see some parents thinking of it as inappropriate. The relationship between Lan-Lan and Issa is, as the author describes, “they were apparently close as superior and subordinate . . . or rather, like tormented older brother and cheery younger sister.” So don’t take it too seriously.

Opportunities for discussion:

This volume opens the Exhibition Tournament, which the story had been leading up to for awhile. A topic that comes to mind is competition. Ask your teens what they like about competition and what they dislike about it. Then ask them if they think Leila handled her loss well. Half the battle is knowing how to lose—something we could all probably become a little better at.

Past reviews in this series:
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kekkaishi_v7We learn that an organized group has its eye on the Karasumori site. Using man-skins to cover their ayakashi identity, they are becoming a problem for our Kekkaishi, who recently have been given help by the Shadow Organization with the addition of Gen to their team.

Story overview:

A ghost cat haunts Yoshimori’s teacher, but rather than let Gen kill it, Yoshimori waits for the cat to find its peace. Shortly after Gen realizes Yoshimori is in love with Tokine. The two boys follow her as she goes off with a popular boy, only to find that the boy is being controlled by an ayakashi (which is why Tokine went with him, and she easily defeated the creature).

Meanwhile, Yoshimori’s older brother, Masamori is inducted into the Shadow Organization’s Executive Committee (Council of Twelve). The council turns out to be a den of wild beasts, all of which Masamori plans to kill someday.

New and improved human skin is produced to disguise ayakashi sent on a mission to demand the surrender of the Karasumori site. One of the oppressors decides to keep his old human-skin, which resembled that of the first skin found. Only, this creature possesses a greater powerful. After making a bloody mess of Gen, the villain and his group trick Yoshimori and Tokine to fall into a trap that prevents them from using their Kekkaishi powers.

My thoughts:

The addition of Gen to the Kekkaishi team makes the character dynamics only get more interesting. Gotta love the humor, the character interaction, the human struggles, the mystery, the side stories, and the great action. Still top of the manga list for me.

Things to consider:

Continued to be rated thirteen plus and targeted mainly towards boys. This story remains free of any excessive and inappropriate sexual references, has only the slightest profanity (if you can even call it that), and the action violence is just the right amount for this kind of story.

Opportunities for discussion:

Compassion seems to be a main theme in this volume. With Yoshimori, who extended it to the ghost cat, and Tokine who didn’t grant the request of the ayakashi. There are times in life when we need to show compassion and other times when that compassion can cause more harm than good. Ask your teen if they can understand the difference and then ask them for an example in their lives. Then ask them if they think Tokine’s decision was the right one.

Past reviews in this series:

1) Kekkaishi (Volume 1)
2) Kekkaishi (Volume 2)
3) Kekkaishi (Volume 3)
4) Kekkaishi (Volume 4)
5) Kekkaishi (Volume 5)
6) Kekkaishi (Volume 6)