Genres: Shounen, Action, Supernatural,
Author: Segawa Hajime
Artist: Segawa Hajime
Publication: Shonen Ace
Start Date: October, 2005
End Date: On Going
Number of chapters at review: 6 Volumes
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 22
Kensuke wants to be a normal high school freshman, but unlike others he has to deal with spirits who cause him endless trouble. Mainly being he that can't get a girlfriend. As he is feeling down from his first failed date, he runs into evil spirits, his first such encounter. As he escapes, he has a fate changing meeting with Kagura, the first ever person he has met who can also see spirits.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
I love the art. More stylish than your average shonen, it reminds of another manga called Sasameke, though the cover pages remind me of Bleach. Kensuke doesn't look like your average male protagonist (he doesn't look goofy) and in comedic situations characters gain these ghoulish white eyes. I wish battles were handled better though. While detailed, we really don't get a good picture of the fighting and they all tend to look the same.
The plot revolves around Kensuke and Kagura as Kensuke reluctantly helps Kagura and becomes a member of the Ministry of Environment's secret Supernatural Disaster Counter Measure Room. He mainly becomes a member because of a growing crush on Kagura. The plot get deep pretty fast (maybe too fast) when forces who wish to revive an ancient spirit beast come to town.
Kensuke isn't your average hero. He doesn't care much about being a hero and simply wants to get to know Kagura better. Kagura is at first you average female protagnist, but we find out that she carries a huge burden. One thing that could definitely have been better are the side characters, like Kensuke's friends for example. We really don't get to know them at all, though that could change.
The theme focuses on Kensuke's feelings for Kagura, and how it pushes him to protect her, even as other forces attempt to pull them away from each other. It also focuses on Kagura as she tries to recover from her past and open up to her friends.
Well Ga-Rei does borrow a few elements from other stories. First there is the Nine Tails fox (a lot cuter than Naruto's which makes me think that the author knew of the possible comparison) which was defeated hundreds of years ago, and scattered Sesshouseki (stones) across the world. This of course reminds me of Inuyasha, and the fact that these stones have similar powers doesn't help. Then there have been comparisons with Bleach. I guess that's because of the way Kensuke is brought into the the government agency by Kagura, but I don't think that comparison works other than the fact that the cover art looks very similar to what Tite Kubo does. Then there is the secret organization hunting down evil spirits which has been done many times before. Either way, I don't feel that these similarities hurt Ga-rei much because it is still a pretty good story with great art. Things that make it original include powerful female characters, all who seem to be more powerful than Kensuke. Also having a male character who isn't a genius, and not a idiot is pretty refreshing.
I can't say this manga would make it in my top ten list. I really feel that the battles could be better and I also wish we got more information on the various side characters. Also we are not really given a strong explanation of the characters powers. Of course I have only read 22 of the chapters since scanlations have stopped by en.tro.py because Tokyopop picked it up, and Tokyopop has not yet released their own books, so these things are probably bound to change. Still I do recommend this manga to fans of Bleach and Yu Yu Hakusho.
You can find it at #lurk on irc.highway.net (gotlurk.net) or read online at onemanga.com
Last edited by CupofDice; October 01, 2008 at 01:48 PM.
hmmm... it seems interesting... maybe i`ll check it out, since i don`t have any current manga to read...
Some of the themes you mentioned have more root in old Japanese folklore and tales than the other manga you mentioned. I had a look at this manga and I have to say its a lot of good stuff. Worth a read!
Yeah, it definitely works great once you have read all of the more popular stuff.
The thing about Ga-rei's kyuubi is that the artist draws it overly cute (maybe as a inside joke?) which made me think he/she knew of the possible comparision to Naruto, though it could just be my imagination . The other spirit beasts look pretty serious in comparison though. Then again it could just be the way the characters are imagining the Kyuubi since they have no clue how it looks, and if we do get to see him/her, it could possibly be different. I really don't care if a manga is original though, as long as it's good and the plot makes sense. The stones on the other hand do not seem to fit as neatly into the story. Still, like you said it's definitely worth a read, and hopefully someone picks it up.
Why isnt any one scanlating it???
It's licensed, and more importantly there are no translators and raw provider, though that may change. There is a download link for the raw vol 6 at jcafe. Google for it.
damn, no one`s willing to take his chance at this, since it`s licensed... what if i want to read more of it, but i don`t like in U.S.A. or where-the-hell-ever is this licensed? i would do it, but i`m worthless at cleaning or translating, neither do i have the RAW`s...
still, good review, once more, but once i`ve finished all the chapters, i was a bit disappointed because the scanlators dropped the project...
Well, I was gonna look for a tler for it, but news came to me that someone was already working on it. I think this was about 2, 3 months ago. Don't know how far they are with the project. Maybe they will release volume by volume. I'll try to find out. Also that news said that even though it was licensed, it wasn't coming out anytime soon or maybe not at all. Unclear about that part.
Edit: Yeah, some people are still working on it.
Last edited by CupofDice; October 01, 2008 at 02:01 PM.
oh, good to hear... thanks a million tons for the information! it may not be something like the already popular series, but it`s more enjoyable because of that... and i`ve been missing it...
GOD DAMN, i`ll learn how to clean something nicely and join a group in 3 months or so!! i got ahold of the basics in Photoshop and HELL!! i may even be a little proud to say i helped with something, not just being a leecher!!