Jul 21, 2008
Denizen (All reviews)
There are lots of shounen manga available today, and lots of them tend to borrow and overuse the same concepts, the same plot techniques, the same story lines, and most just fall flat eventually. Bleach, Naruto, D.Gray-man, it's all very mediocre.

Kekkaishi to me is a manga that doesn't have or do anything particularly special, and like its cousins it uses common aspects and features of action manga that don't break any conventions. However, it manages to accomplish much more.

For a start, the Protagonist's ability is absolutely genius, and it allows for a good mix of flexibility, strategy, power and defense which despite being frequently used almost never gets stale. There are no flashy shouting attack names or overblown special moves, the characters progress simply by economically using their ability to create useful effects which make interesting battles, not with power ups and gigantic laser-spewing razors.

The rest of the manga is made up of decent characterisation, unimpressive yet likable and well-rounded villains, political intrigue, layers of mystery, appealing art and most of all, a plot that progresses further and further without ever forgetting it's roots that made it good in the first place.

Kekkaishi seems to be a forgotten shounen series that lags behind other manga, despite how solid it is. Definitely worth reading if you either like shounen or want to restore your faith in it.