This volume is another interesting one because it breaks a lot of norms that I’ve come to associate with shonen manga. The first being that it doesn’t pick right back up with the battle from the fourth volume. That’s right; you’re left with that cliffhanger for a while as we actual jump to the future and find out about a few of the twelve guardians coming to town. It’s interesting and different because it gives you vague hints about the outcome of the battle. So much so that when it does return to the fight you could easily think that you know what’s going to happen. You don’t. I didn’t. I didn’t even have an accurate guess because Yoshiaki Sukeno busts out even bigger surprises than the last issue. While the fourth volume saw a huge change for Benio, the fifth volume cranks up Rokuro’s character to eleven. So that you understand, he was on nine; now he’s on eleven… it only goes to ten.
I won’t tell you what happens, but obviously, our two main characters live at the end. Saying that gives you nothing, though. After the dust has settled some, we learn about an island that is at the center of the battle to save the planet. Battles happen there 24/7 and so the exorcists there are more badass than anywhere else in the world. Rokuro and Benio want to go there, but they have to train first. Oh, and that’s after they convince the White Haired Weirdo that they’re not just going to sit around and have a kid and make them clean up the world as the “chosen one.”
One huge development from the battle with Yuto is that Benio has a new-found respect for Rokuro and has developed romantic feelings for him. Rokuro is the oblivious idiot male character and doesn’t know this, but he feels a closeness to Benio that he just doesn’t acknowledge because that would be too easy. Still, I applaud Sukeno on the character development done in this volume (as well as the last). Not only that, but the relationship development that didn’t rely on well-worn tropes, but instead was built on mutual respect in battle.
The last development is that Mayura begins doing hardcore training as an exorcist to try to catch up to Rokuro. Not the best aspect to add because it doesn’t feel relevant to the story anymore, but it’s manga and God forbid the main male character only have one love interest when he can have a dozen. My favorite part of the entire manga was one of the comic strips in the back in which Rokuro and Benio watch TV and afterward Benio expression her desire to tell Rokuro that she bought a bra. The rest was great as well, but I found this part to be particularly humorous.
After the last volume, I’m on board with the artwork. Perhaps it’s the fact that there’s a lot of artists working on the series. Nine to be exact, but due to how credit is given, I have no idea who to credit, and I’m not writing out nine names. It’s consistent; it looks great, and the designs continue to be cool. Especially the last page, which I won’t spoil, but it’s pretty relevant to the story.
This volume has an excellent pacing in that it eases the reader out of the big battle from volume 4, gives you time to catch your breath and then moves the story forward in a big way. I’m very excited for the next volume after completing this one. It continues to do some hotshot booking, but it's working for now. It makes Twin Star Exorcists stand out from the crowd and a lot of fun to read.
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Twin Star Exorcists vol. 5 Creator: Yoshiaki Sukeno Publisher: Viz Media Price: $9.99 Format: TPB; Print/Digital