Black Torch (Vols. 1-3) by Takaki Tsuyoshi

blacktorch

My library happened to have the first several volumes of Black Torch a supernatural adventure manga. The story follows Jiro Azuma a magical ninja boy with the ability to talk to animals, who accidentally is killed and then possessed by a cat-like mononoke named, Ragou.

SPOILERS

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When Ragou merges with Jiro to save his life, Jiro becomes the target of interest for a branch of a secret spy organization that specializes in demons/mononoke.  This particular branch hasn’t been terribly busy, until recently, when it seems that a war against humans is brewing among mononoke-kind. They conscript Jiro/Ragou somewhat forcefully (with handcuffs), because, well, the spy organization is not actually the good guys.

How do I know they’re not heroes? They tell us so–no seriously, straight-up:

BT15 (3)

The third volume ends, just as the big confrontation is heating up.

I may read the rest online, as I’m moderately interested in the fate of the older brother of one of Jiro’s colleagues. A glasses-wearing, cooler-headed rival (seems to be a trope) also comes from a long line of ninja. Their clan was entrusted with some kind of demon-blade, and, unexpectedly, the heir, his elder brother, goes into the dark cave to take his birthright only to some how royally f*ck up and get possessed by the blade. Unexpected? Kind of cool? I thought so. He’s by far my favorite character. I’m expecting him to be redeemed, but I sort of hope he isn’t?

Anyway, I’m not sure what to say about this manga. I like Takaki’s art style quite a bit, and the manga is, according to Baka-Updates completed in five volumes. So, it’s not like it’s a huge commitment. What I read of it was quite fun, honestly, but I can’t quite work up a lot of enthusiasm for yet another Boy with All the Super-powers.

Have other folks read this one? Is it worth finishing?

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