Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: 07-GHOST Volume 1

07-GHOST, VOL. 1

CARTOONISTS: Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara
TRANSLATION: Satsuki Yamashita
LETTERING: Vanessa Satone
EDITOR: Hope Donovan
ISBN: 978-1-4215-4994-1; paperback; Rated “T” for “Teen”
208pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

07-Ghost is a shonen manga which debuted in 2005. It is also the first manga written and drawn by the team of Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara. VIZ Media recently released the first English-language volume of 07-Ghost.

07-Ghost, Vol. 1, opens in the Barsburg Empire. The opening chapter introduces Teito Klein, a former slave and orphan, who is a cadet at the Barsburg Empire Military Academy. An incident between Teito and Chief of Staff Ayanami gets Teito thrown in prison.

With the help of his friend, Mikage, Teito escapes and ends up in District 7, also known as the “District of God.” The bishops and nuns of Barsburg Church take him in and care for him, but the church is also a place of secrets. Teito learns of seven legendary ghosts, and one scary devil. Some of these secrets will cast away the shadows of Teito’s past and point the way to his place in the now-destroyed Raggs Kingdom.

That 07-Ghost is the debut work of a creative team is obvious. The story is overstuffed with characters, subplots, and back story, and the action is frantic and unkempt. The art is a maelstrom of heavy inks and chaotic page design. The composition is pure high energy, but that energy does not translate into consistently coherent storytelling. There is so much here that potential is assumed, and I’d like to see more. I’m intrigued, but right now, a lot of 07-Ghost seems like sound and fury.

Still, youthful exuberance and passion is a good thing, especially when compared to polished professionalism that results in bland corporate product


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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