Story: Kentaro Yabuki
Art: Kentaro Yabuki
Translation: Satsuki Yamashita
Lettering: Mark McMurray
What They Say:
Japan may be brimming with mysterious monsters called ayakashi, but they have a special exorcist ninja force to counter the threat! Young exorcist ninja Matsuri spends his days fighting ayakashi to protect his childhood friend Suzu. But when an ayakashi cat named Shirogane shows up, things get turned upside down! Legendary mangaka Kentaro Yabuki returns to Shonen Jump with this new fantasy series full of ayakashi and romance!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Matsuri wants to know if Garaku was being serious when he said he was in love with Suzu in her previous life. He was being totally serious. Well, this is a bit awkward. Garaku proceeds to tell the group his story. He was born as a tsukumogami of a brush moments after the painter had died. His first thought was that he had to paint more. Unfortunately, he was born during tumultuous times. He was barely able to maintain his existence. Eventually, he became Chirizuka Kaiou’s servant. Garaku had to steal to survive. He felt no sympathy for humans though. They disrespected his art. In reality, he felt nothing at this time. He was lost.
And then Garaku met Mei Hirasaka, the Ayakashi Medium. As we already know, she sealed Chirizuka Kaiou. She also decided to show Garaku the world he should be painting. The world is actually beautiful, you know? In fact, everything in this world is a treasure. By following Mei, Garaku soon discovers this to be true. He also learns about the sad destiny of the Ayakashi Medium. It’s her duty to keep the balance between humans and ayakashi. Sadly, the Ayakashi Medium always ends up dying young at the age of 15. Mei has been fortunate enough to live longer than previous reincarnations. She has made it to the old age of 16! Mei knows her days are numbered. And you know what? She was right. Mei ends up being sacrificed by the humans.
Garaku realized that he was in love with Mei only after he lost her. How could he ever forget that radiance? She changed his life. Suzu reminds Garaku that she isn’t Mei. He knows that but the Ayakashi Medium might remember. That’s why he wants to paint Suzu when she’s a completed Ayakashi Medium. The chapter ends with Matsuri doubting his chances with Suzu. How can he compete with someone who has a connection to her previous life!? Those guys always win in anime and manga stories!
I guess Garaku really is in love with Suzu. Well, the Ayakashi Medium technically. I’m not surprised he fell in love with Mei all those years ago. She did show him the beauty of the world. And nothing is more beautiful in this world than love, right? How fitting that this chapter was released on Valentine’s Day! What interested me the most in this chapter was the fact that the Ayakashi Medium has never lived a long life. Every reincarnation has died as a teenager. Will the same fate await Suzu!? I sure hope not. Matsuri would definitely be sad without her! By the way, his freakout on the last page was hilarious. His line about guys like Garaku winning in anime and manga particularly had me rolling.
Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: A
Age Rating: T
Released By: Shonen Jump/VIZ Media
Released Date: February 14th, 2021