Story/Art: Hiroshi Shiibashi
Translation: Yumi Okamoto
Adaptation: Mark Giambruno
What They Say
Yokai rumble! Rikuo leads his Night Parade of a Hundred Demons in a street fight against the 88 Demons of Shikoku. But Rikuo doesn’t know that the maniacal leader of the 88 Demons, Tamazuki, is wielding a secret weapon: the Devil’s Blade, a legendary sword that absorbs the energy of the demons it slays. When the sun rises, the Paranormal Patrol visits a girl who’s being visited by a jyami, a type of ghost that only haunts outcasts.
Content: (please note that the content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the help of Yuki-Onna, Rikuo is able to take on Tamazuki. To increase his own power Tamazuki uses his sword, the Devil’s Blade, to kill his subordinates and absorb their power, but Rikuo strikes back with the power of his own living allies. Before Tamazuki can be killed Nurarihyon and Inugami-Gyobu, Tamazuki’s father, interrupt. Inugami-Gyobu begs to have his son’s life spared, which Rikuo grants as long as those who were killed are buried and honored. Later, we see the Paranormal Patrol again as they travel to an ocean town to save a girl from the ghost Jyami who watches her as she sleeps. Then as they return home, a pair of onmyoji appear in town with plans to kill all the demons.
The battle with Tamazuki and the Shikoku demons comes to a quick end as the Nura yokai win their fights one by one. The pacing here is a little uneven, as many of the fights are concluded within a couple of panels, while others are lengthened by dialogue and sudden flashbacks. Even the final push against Tamazuki and his sword, while exciting, feels rushed, as many of the pages are taken up with backstory and meaningful speeches. It still comes to a pretty satisfying end, as Rikuo finally defeats him not only with the help of his subordinates, but also while his demon blood is ebbing away with the sunrise, proving that his true strength isn’t something physical.
It’s a treat to finally see Yuki-Onna show her stuff. Initially her fight against Yosuzume looks to be disappointing, as she’s immediately blinded, but then we discover she played a trick to freeze her own eye, preserving half of her sight. She quickly freezes Yosuzume, allowing Rikuo to continue his own battle. Her moment in the sun lasts only a chapter, and she immediately looks to Rikuo for his praise, but at least we were able to see another girl in this manga hold her own.
After the intriguing battle, we jump right into another Paranormal Patrol story arc. This once again proves to be more goofy than anything else, as half the group complains of losing their summer vacation and Kiyotsugu yammers on about yokai. The biggest yield in this story arc is that Rikuo gains another member of his Night Parade, but half a book seems an awful long time just to obtain a minor ally.
The Shikoku fight ends with Rikuo’s obvious victory, but also with the enemy Tamazuki still alive. With all of the character development and backstory Tamazuki received, this leaves me to believe that he’ll come back, with his final introspection making it seem that he’ll be an ally rather than a foil. After all the fighting and death it’s unsurprising that the next plot involved the Paranormal Patrol, but while a bit of humor keeps the story light the second story arc just brings the overall manga plot to a stall. But even though a good portion of this book is taken up with a goofy side story, a number of intriguing things pop up to keep our interest. At the end of the fight with Shikoku we are reminded of the possible traitor in the Nura clan, and finally get a glimpse of who it might be. And at the end of the volume, we see that Yura Keikan, the demon hunter and Rikuo’s friend, has two siblings coming to town with a more black-and-white, and more vicious, view of yokai. A fight with the Keikan family is definitely more imminent, and luckily promises a more serious and interesting story to start off volume 7, while the possible traitor will likely remain a mystery, an important unanswered question that will hopefully carry us through more volumes.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: December 6th, 2011