Sousei no Onmyouji. At first I thought this was only a mere exorcism story that was only about fight, friendship, and stuff which are rather crap nowadays but it's nothing like that. This 4th work from manga author Yoshiaki Sukeno has emerged to be quite phenomenal in its unique traits.
The story revolves in a world where exorcists fight demon-like creature called as "impurities" or "kegare". Basically Kegare are residents of another world called Magano which then cross into human world in order to massacre humans just for power. They have been responsible for killing humans in the last one thousand years since the war began. They are violent, ruthless and persistent which make them so difficult to fight against. Not only that, even some of them, the exceptional ones are intelligent enough to outsmart Humans in combats. For that reason, they are considered as a major threat to humanity's survival. In any case the long-lasting war has to be ended, either with human victory or human demise, The exorcists will strive.
Well, the general idea looks simple eh?, until there's a boy named Rokuro. 2 years before story timeline, Rokuro was originally a genius 12 year old exorcist carving to obliterate every impurity from human world and Magano. With high determination he was sure of it, Unfortunately the tragedy occurred and Rokuro stopped being an exorcist since then. For 2 years Rokuro have tried to undergo normal life and avoid exorcism related stuff but all of that ended up failing. It's rather funny at start of story that people treat Rokuro as a weirdo instead, to make it worse his family exorcists also treat him like a child and abuse Rokuro a lot. Lots of misfortunes happening around him until The fated first encounter with the heroine Benio occurred unexpectedly causing awkward situation especially for Rokuro. There, their first encounter has turned over Rokuro's fate as a genuine exorcist for the second time.
Not being extravagant of me. The story is unexceptionally appealing for me, it has its own dreadful side where these kids got to devote their lives as exorcists disregarding their cruel pasts about Kegare. Being forced by fate and responsibility these kids show unimaginable resolution for their age. In regard to exorcism part of the story, it's not less sophisticated. For example, there is so-called Miko the strongest of strongest exorcists assumed as a legendary in history of exorcism. This Miko is said as form of hope for humanity against impurities, and the requirement to obtain a Miko is the most interesting part of the story as well which involves Rokuro and Benio's mutual life.
Every detail given seems to be strongly responsible to make up its solid story structure. In other words we have great plot for this manga that successfully suffice my personal satisfaction for a decent story sequence. It also has become much more solid after knowing both protagonists' pasts. I suppose the further the story goes, the darker it will be, and more sacrifices will be needed.
This manga's story pacing is pretty neat, It doesn't really rush its story so that readers will have enough time to comprehend what's exactly going on and every problem that might require some further cognition in order to enjoy the story. The dialogues and narrations in this manga are also prone to follow, even beginner readers will find it easy and effortless. In addition, with some well placed mild jokes scattered in the story , it successfully enhances its own distinct impression. Furthermore, I really appreciate manga author who's able to write and to build a story correctly starting from a solid backstory to story structure later on. Yoshiaki Ukeno is indeed one of them
Focusing on the two main characters, Rokuro and Benio, Both are unique in their own traits. Starting from Rokuro, He was actually a boy who used to be coward, quick-tempered, ignorant and loudmouthed. Traits you will find typical in most shounen characters, yet it's quite distinct with Rokuro. While majority of characters in any shounen obtain motivations from their pasts to push forward, Rokuro is in fact the opposite. Rokuro had been traumatized no other by his own past until he quit being an exorcist 2 years ago. This distinction is probably Yoshiaki Sukeno's characterization style applied to Rokuro as the male lead in the story. On the second one we have Benio, the female lead who was rather cold, confident, serious and straightforward. She despised Rokuro assuming he was just a coward who wouldn't fight Kegare, here She had yet to discover Rokuro's past. Not that much different with Rokuro's past, Benio's past can also be considered very grim, but undeterred by her past She kept pushing forward and being stronger each day so as to exterminate Kegare.
Initially, these two characters have no similar traits at all, that makes them almost impossible to be paired. However, Along the way of story they have stumbled upon a lot of misery, tragedy and grief which have shaped Rokuro and Benio maturely. Since then, both of them have been thriving and striving to fight on their journey to become proper twin star exorcists in order to achieve their respective goals. Moreoever, every character in this manga is unique actually, not only to mention both main characters but all including the ruthless Kegare. I also like characters' determinations of why they fight, what support them to become stronger, even the enemy's intimidation itself takes part in characters' determinations particularly for both protagonists.
The character drawing is kinda neat with exact body proportion, so I relatively have no problem when enjoying the character drawing. Expression of each character is nothing out of place too, every expression is placed accordingly to existing situation also I like drawing of the Kegare that's rather spooky. Nevertheless, If only the Kegare drawings were rougher, It'd be better. Expecting it's as rough as titan drawing full of random scratches from SNK in order to bring out horror atmosphere more.
For battle drawing, It's nothing less than vicious drawing which makes it thrilling to experience. It utilizes thick stress lines to bring out character dynamism and impact of every action to become more realistic, I really like it. In addition the arts are getting better as well, especially in the recent chapters. I have to say the artist or author has made a significant improvement not only in the arts but also in the narrations and dialogues, perhaps only a little, but it's still worth noticing.
My enjoyment comes from great characterization, plot, story and story structure. I find all of them in this manga. Also with dialogues and narrations which are rather convenient to follow, it makes this manga is well suited for any kind of reader. I'd recommend this to anyone.
Based on 29 chapters I've read, This manga has decent quality to make viewers eagerly curious of what's gonna happen next. Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing more of this series. Some day this series will become big if it maintains its composure steadily.