By Dustin Cabeal
Volume nine isn’t the strongest volume of Twin Star Exorcists. There’s a lot of great little moments and several important reveals, but overall the battles and random talking goes on for far too much of the volume. Hopefully, it’s not indicative of what to expect from the series going forward. It would be an absolute shame if it were to go the route of My Hero Academia and slow down the amazing pace that the story has managed to have up until this volume.
The story itself isn’t sad in that a character dies, but more of the outcome of the battle; which is why the battle itself seems too long and a bit pointless. It’s all about the conclusion of the battle. That and the sacrificing each character does in this volume is a rehash of the last volume. The good moments come in the form of Rokuro who has a talk with the spirit that’s inside him. No, there’s no further explanation there, and hell, it’s doubtful that he’ll even remember it going forward in the story. The other great moment comes from the weirdo who shows up to help them, but then later again after the battle and manages to shit all over Rokuro and Benio’s hopes and dreams. Another bright spot comes in the form of their developing relationship, though it seems as if Yoshiaki Sukeno is hell-bent on continuing the love triangle.
The writing is good in that during this massive fight there is still a lot of story elements to pay attention to while reading. There are details about Rokuro, Benio, Mayura and more importantly the Kegare. That is the most interesting aspect of this volume, but it’s only hinted at towards the end of the fight. It’s likely to change the entire direction of the story and Rokuro’s ambitious, but it’s too early to say for sure. The only problem with the writing this volume is the slow pace. It was much tighter in the beginning, but with the last volume and this one, it seems to have slowed. Hopefully, with the next big arc, Sukeno can get the story back on track.
The art doesn’t dip. The panel layout has improved with smarter choices being made. I’m not a fan of two-page spreads because they don’t look great in the collected format and there’s a lot less of them in this volume. There’s marked improvement in the facial expressions as well, they’re more dynamic and tend to suck you in more. Not that they weren’t previous good, but they’re just better now. Otherwise, the action continues to be beautiful and gorgeous to look at every volume. It’s enough to make me want to give the anime a second chance, but I won’t.
There’s a lot of groundwork laid down in this volume of Twin Star Exorcists, and sometimes that happens all at once. It doesn’t make for the most exciting or awe-inspiring volume, but it’s necessary to keep the story moving forward. If you’re a fan of the series, then definitely keep ready. If you were looking for a place to jump on the story, wait until the next volume which looks to move the story forward again, much like Rokuro and Benio’s last big battle.
Twin Star Exorcists vol. 9
Story and Art: Yoshiaki Sukeno
Publisher: Viz Media