Twin Star Exorcists 1 by Yoshiake Sukeno

Twin Star Exorcists is not a bad title at all; however, admittedly it did feel very ‘been there done that’.  The artwork is interesting, if a bit odd in places (our protagonist has triangular teeth instead of square). The combination of stupid impulsive guy and tsundere (aggressively mean to the boy but secretly in love with him) girl is a familiar trope and needs a very unique story to make it work these days. But Twin Star’s plot of generic monster of the week failed to excite or impress.

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Story: Rokuro lives at an exorcist compound; he lost most of his family and friends on a savage demon attack years earlier and wants out of the whole exorcist business. Problem is, whether it is soccer star or singing idol, he pretty much sucks at it all. As well, instead of being a chick magnet, he repels them with his shortcomings. Enter Benio – a ‘princess’ of a highly esteemed exorcist family, she can enter the demon world and fights fiercely. When the two become embroiled while saving some kids from a demon capture, the two enter a love-hate relationship. And Rokuro is dragged kicking and screaming back into becoming an exorcist. For while Benio has fox-like craftiness, speed, and skill, Rokuro is all raw power and strength. They make an unbeatable combo – if only they liked each other.

From the odd Exorcist leader (whose entrance was off putting rather than funny) to the upbeat if somewhat flat friends, I kept looking for a reason to be drawn into the story. I really enjoyed the artwork with Benio – her fox mask when she ‘transforms’ to fight the demons is quite cool. Rokuro’s drawings, however, were just odd – especially the teeth thing.  Perhaps coming from a Western view, it was too much like a kid’s drawing of a ”scary’ Halloween pumpkin mouth.

Rokuro as a character is quite over the top in his idiocy. That ‘everyman’ can be endearing or it can get old fast. Unfortunately for me, I kept wishing the author had toned him down just a bit so he wasn’t so ‘off the hip’ with every reaction. Benio, meanwhile, with her control, contrarily ended up being a bit too contained.  I expect we will see the two balance each other out later but I’m not sure if I want to wait for that to happen if we’re just going to get monster of the week. There was the hint of a ‘big bad’ at the end; but again, big bad wasn’t all that interesting.

So yes, a manga about two 14 year olds who are told they have to marry and have a kid who will one day become the ultimate exorcist. Lots of evil demons and even more spats between the couple as they learn to work together.  Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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