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):
Every time I think Jun Kirarazaka has gotten the series moving into a better place where it can move forward without barreling forward into bigger material than it’s ready for, things shift and we’re right back into that same place. The sense of pacing and scale here continues to be off-balance and it just leaves me feeling like it’s doing this in order to not get canceled quickly or that the editorial side is asleep at the wheel. Every chance at actually getting us to know these characters is skipped over in favor of a bigger event and more fighting with a lot of characters coming into view.
The arrival of the twins shifts things into a larger gear here as they’ve been assigned to train Kazami on his yokai spell as they’re masters in it themselves. This, we learn, is because the sister is actually possessed/part fox yokai and her brother has spent the time mastering the ability because there’s a fox yokai they’re looking for that may give them answers on their situation. So isn’t it convenient that the yokai that broke out of the prison in the last episode is an SS-ranked fox yokai that’s making a lot of noise and killing a lot of people as we see just toward the end here. This raises the stakes considerably with what the twins are involved with and why they’re as intense as they are about the whole thing.
The real problem that comes from this is that because of the intensity of what they’re after, they’re not really intent on bringing Kazami along for this fight. They’ve been ordered to and we see them being all proper on the call about it, but the reality is that Kazami’s so ill-trained and doesn’t even really know Paira that well right now that they can’t be trained the right way quick enough to be of use. It’s amusing to see how they twist Kazami just right with Paira in order to get them to back off for a while as they head to deal with the yokai but even that moment has them realizing just how powerful Kazami is and his future potential if he can get through some of the basics first.
I continue to struggle with Bone Collection while wanting it desperately to succeed. I love the initial concept and layout that we get and the characters themselves but there’s such a problematic series of movements through it where we’re getting material that would be better off 50 or 100 chapters down the line rather than here. Kazami and Paira get little time to really be characters here and Rino’s such a non-feature that it’s even more frustrating at this point.
Content Grade: C+
Art Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Shonen Jump
Release Date: July 12th, 2020