Unfortunately, I wasn’t given the first volume of Twin Star Exorcists to review. So I figured I would let the anime play out some and then just jump on. That was a complete and total mistake. I almost didn’t even bother to read the manga after watching the first three episodes of the anime. Now I wish I had never watched the anime because unlike a lot of the other recent adaptations, One-Punch Man, My Hero Academia; Twin Star Exorcists isn’t a page by page adaptation. At least from what I saw of the show and read of the manga because the reveals and setup are completely different. Let’s recap the volumes really quickly.
Volume 2: We meet the Kagare that killed Benio’s parents and we learn that some Kagare can talk. This Kagare is a real piece of shit by the way and I fucking loved her character. The Twin Stars also learn that they can combo their power together and thus increases their power. We end with meeting Rokuro’s former teacher who reveals to Benio that Rokuro is the sole survivor of the tragedy that he survived, but that he actually killed everyone. Hell of a cliffhanger, which is why I read both volumes back to back and you’re getting a combo review.
Volume 3: We learn what really happened at the Hinatsuki Drom and you really can’t fucking blame Rokuro for not wanting to be an exorcists and really fuck everyone that gave this guy a hard time. Another character is revealed to us and it’s used to make Benio’s character even more tragic than she was before. Also Rokuro’s master is pretty badass, but the story kind of neuters him by the end. Oh and we learn what a Kagare Curse is and what it does, pretty interesting.
Why is this manga so much better than the anime? The pacing. The anime’s pacing is all over the place and with the changes in the reveals and story structure it really never stood a chance against the manga. That’s the last comparison I’ll make, but that really is what makes the manga so good, the pacing. Yoshiaki Sukeno perfectly paces both volumes. I’m going to do my best to describe it, but it’s a bit like a conductor bringing up the action at just the right time, then lowering the action for character moments only to hit with the percussion and reveal major aspects of the world. And Sukeno does this over and over again. The pacing is perfect and not just for the genre, but just for storytelling in general.
The artwork is also really on point. Due to the tragedy that bestowed upon both characters, there’s a lot of emotion to this book. Sukeno’s line work captures that in a way that really hits home. The action is easy to follow and really detailed to look at. A lot of manga artists tend to drop background details when illustrating artwork and it makes it look posed, thus breaking from the reality of the story. With Twin Star Exorcists you’re not removed from the world instead feel as if you’re on the demon plain with the characters.
What keeps these two volumes from being perfect is the premise that’s brought up over and over. This story could very easily hide the fact that these two are destined to get married and produce the chosen one child that will destroy all the Kagare. Instead it led with that. Almost as if it was pitched to the publisher and they said lead with that, rather than build towards it. Because it leads with what would have been the biggest reveal of the series, we’re instead constantly reminded of the fact. We’re not shown it or building towards it, we’re just reminded over and over that these two middles schoolers will have a baby one day. It’s a joke for the story, rather than something important to the world of the story and each time it’s brought up it weakens the overall story. Eventually, as is the case with all manga that lead with their “hook”, it won’t be brought up as much; which begs the question, why bring it up in the first place?
[su_box title="Score: 4/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]