By Dustin Cabeal
It seems that the new norm for Twin Star Exorcists will be some great moments and some generic tropes. Which works to an extent. It’s better than another popular manga that seems to have delved into tropes and nothing more. Still, when this series is breaking the mold, it’s at its best.
For instance, Rokuro took over Benio’s old house. Making it his home and getting it fixed up for her. Her spirit cat thing is now coaching him on what he’ll need to get done in order to become a high-level family and be included in the hunt for Yuto. Since that’s not going to happen, he tells him about the tournament that’s held each year which seems to be a big pissing contest for the twelve family’s guardians.
Meanwhile, Benio is stuck in the Magno with the Kegare that killed her parents and gave her the Kagare curse. She doesn’t help her but instead leaves her for dead. Benio survives a few days on some food she had. Eventually, the Kegare shows back up and sends her on a journey to talk to some other badass Kegare and find her spiritual power.
Back on the island, Rokuro runs into tighty whitey weirdo’s kid. The kid goes to live with him because he’s ignored by his dear old dad. They run through his backstory, and it’s interesting. It develops the kid and the father quite well. At the end though, Rokuro claims him as his son and expands his family by one member. This pisses off tighty whitey weirdo but helps Rokuro form a team. It’s also revealed that Rokuro had a bonus curse put on him to screw up his powers and send him to the bottom class at school. Which had an interesting ranking system which didn’t rely on grades, but rather your abilities.
The story paced well this time around, but with the introduction of the new character, we’re not left with much time with Benio. That and the new character is kinda meh. It’s an archetype for sure, but with the backstory, they could end up being decent. With them being in the house and part of the family were bound to see them a lot more. Personally, when Benio arrives, it’ll change the dynamic and force that extra interaction which tends to bog down manga/shonen stories.
The artwork is a lot cleaner feeling in this volume. I started to notice in the last volume, but with a severe lack of action in this volume, it was instantly noticeable how much cleaner it looked. That’s not a bad thing, but I liked the grittiness the series sometimes displayed. The physical humor was great in this volume. Usually the whole, “I’m shy in the bath” scene is super annoying, regardless of the gender. This time around it broke the mold and was funny.
There was a lot I liked about this volume, but the addition of the pointless tournament to prove that Rokuro’s a badass and to earn respect is just typical and boring. I will gladly blow through the next volume in order to read what comes after the tournament. Hopefully, the tournament isn’t scheduled to last two years or some crap. Otherwise, it was a great volume filled with character development but needed more Benio for sure. It's no good if it's just the Rokuro show.
Twin Star Exorcists vol. 11
Story & Art: Yoshiaki Sukeno