Creator: Yu Aikawa with Stephen Paul (translation and English adaptation)
Publishing Information: TOKYOPOP, B&W, paperback, 208 pages, $10.99 (US), $13.99 CAN
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-1-4278-1852-2
Fantasy/Horror; Rated “T” for “Teen 13+”
Butterfly is shonen manga from creator Yu Aikawa. It is about a pair of ghost busters, but the story always seems to ask this question: what are the protagonists really busting?
In Butterfly, Vol. 1, readers meet Ginji Ishikawa, a young man who despises all things related to the occult. This hatred causes him to do something careless and stupid, which puts him deep in debt. Enter a boy named Ageha who pays off Ginji’s debt, but to repay Ageha, Ginji will have to partner with the child in a ghost-busting business.
As one would expect of a comic book series built around ghosts, Butterfly does have a creepy edge. However, this series, at least at this early point in the story, seems intent on hunting and busting the ghosts of the characters’ pasts. This kind of ghost is more metaphysical and family-related than it is supernatural. It makes for an intriguing read.
As I read Butterfly, I kept hoping that it would get scarier. I was also drawn into the mysterious of the characters’ pasts and into the seemingly odd relationships these characters have with one another. While the art is not spectacular, it does serve Butterfly’s vibe, style, and character-heavy drama quite well.
I won’t give Butterfly a grade, yet, but I very much look forward to reading the next volume of this peculiar tale of strange ghost busters. I like this kind of haunting.