“I don’t want to be executed!”
Story/Art: Jun Kirarazaka
Translation: Junko Goda
What They Say
In a world swarming with yokai demons… One day, mediocre exorcist Kazami encounters a beautiful girl named Paira. But who is she?! And could the seemingly useless Kazami actually have a special ability? Get ready for a new generation of yokai battle comedy manga!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a chapter like this I can see the fear in some that Jun Kirarazaka may be setting up for a short series simply because of the level of power creep that’s coming into play. But it’s also one that has some potential to play in more interesting areas rather than the slow slog upward in dealing with low-level yokai and finally getting to something more serious. The potential is there to do something a little different that could still run for a good bit of time. But the important thing, in the end, is that we get a series that feels like it worked a natural run and doesn’t overstay its welcome. It may not run long for all we know but I suspect it’s got a solid enough plan in the works, since editorial really does watch closely to ensure a potential moneymaker doesn’t burn out fast.
While we know that Abe was watching from the trees as things got underway with the A-rank yokai that Rion and Kazami were fighting, they do finally come out after things keep going on with it for a bit and as Paira looks to basically get out of the way because of how events are turning. Abe’s arrival isn’t what one would expect as it unfolds as we see the weird looking older man that he is basically being all kinds of lovey-dovey in a way before revealing that it’s just a shell for the true user inside, which is naturally a cute girl. This pretty much throws everyone off-balance but the reality is that she’s been waiting for this moment for years and is amused that it involves Paira because the two used to play videogames together without quite realizing it between worlds. It’s a little convoluted in how she explains it all but it essentially just sets a pre-existing relationship there.
But the real thing is that Abe’s arrival puts Rion in a panic because it means that she’s going to execute Kazami for his use of the yokai spell. This, thankfully, gets upended a bit because Abe sees the bigger picture and wants to basically use Kazami’s abilities for the greater good, even if it means he becomes a bit (more) of a tool. The idea of using his abilities to deal with really problematic yokai and have him sanctioned is what Abe is all about and even Kazami realizes that if this gets put through, he’s definitely going to end up married to Paira since he’s so well-paired to her at this point in terms of borrowing her power. And she’s still intent on becoming human, but that puts things into a delicate balance with just what Abe or the council will actually allow. But the idea of making it sanctioned this early on and without a huge hassle is interesting as it can alter the course of the story in some more interesting directions.
Bone Collection is moving quickly along certain tracks but it’s got so much to develop when it comes to characters that I’m hard pressed to call this a series that’s going to end soon. It certainly could, as power creep can really put a writer into a corner, but I think Kirarazaka has more than enough to work with here that there’s a good couple of years of stories to be told even with a weekly format. I continue to like their artwork and the flow of it but I do wish it had slowed down just a bit more to deal with some character fun instead of action. But that’s the kind of properties that often get the Weekly Shonen Jump pickup so I’m not too surprised. I just hope for it to touch upon what made the first few chapters as exciting as they are as it explores what Abe’s real plan may be.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Shonen Jump
Release Date: May 31st, 2020