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):
The scaling up of Bone Collection continues to concern me a bit but mostly I just keep hoping for some lighter chapters that one might consider filler but are focused on getting us familiar with the characters outside of an action setting. Jun Kirarazak has a good concept at work here and I’ve enjoyed the series overall so far but it still feels like it’s operating under a too-fast kind of approach to getting things done, though one of the central issues that has to be dealt with is Kazami’s ability itself, which is what this installment of the storyline does.
With Shutendoji having been kind of stopped for the moment, we get to hear his story about how he stayed off on his own in the yokai realm because of how ugly he was and that only Paira would visit him for drinking sessions. When she left to come here, the Great Tengu offered him passage as well and that’s why he ended up here. What he did, however, was protect a bunch of kids that were getting abused by their parents and that has them defending him now. Amusingly, they’d sneak alcohol from home to give to him in order to thank him since that’s what he needs for sustenance. Shutendoji comes across pretty well here and misunderstood in general so there’s an easy kind of deescalation going on that’s right and appropriate.
Of course, he removes his mask to show us how ugly he is but he’s actually like a beautiful man with unicorn horn on his head. All of that is considered ugly where he’s from and he even mentions how he admired how well Paira dealt with being so ugly, which is fun to see unfold. But this is just the quiet before the storm with Aki, now having seen the truth, setting to execute the dangerous yokai. The realty is that this is a test for Kazami to see what he’ll do and how he intends to wield his powers that are considered off-limits for use. That Kazami would defend Shutendoji is no surprise but it’s what Aki needed to make sure would happen. It wraps up quickly, with Shutendoji going home, but takes a twist with Aki now forming a special unit under which Paira and Kazami operate so she can ensure that Kazami isn’t hamstrung by his abilities. Poor Rino, though, trying to be included but being left out!
Bone Collection has a chance to regroup here and re-establish itself after going as big as it did as fast as it did. A chance to slow down is critical so that it doesn’t go so fast so as to burn through a lot of key character-building material and establish itself better. I like what Aki does to ensure that Kazami is dealing with his abilities in the right way and some of the material between Paira and Shutendoji is delightful. The book simply needs more basic time between Paira and Kazami to get us more comfortable with them and the impact on Rino and their daily lives. It needs to get a bit smaller before it can go large.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Shonen Jump
Release Date: June 21st, 2020