Monday, November 5, 2012

Manga Monday: 07 Ghost

Whelp, might as well get the most embarrassing one out of the way first. Normally when people talk about guilty pleasures I say that I don't have many, I already don't have enough time to watch or read all the great things out there I want do so why should I read something that I know is bad? This is as close as I come to a guilty pleasure since, while I do feel a bit guilty reading this series (it took me a few weeks back in high school to work up to buying the first manga volume because of the cover, which is probably tame to some but considering that the manga didn't have anything quite like that in there and I just really didn't want to have to try and explain it to the cashier) I don't think it's bad. I might feel too guilty to say it's good but it's at least solid. It's published in Monthly Comic Zero Sum which is either a shojo or josei magazine (I've seen people say both?) which is quite aware of what it's readers like to see, pretty men. I'm familiar with some of the other stories that run in the magazine and they aren't exactly BL buuuut yeah, see above cover. 

07-Ghost by Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara

(Yes the art is from the anime but it's surprisingly hard to find a good group shot of the characters from the manga so just deal with it)

So, the plot has gotten a bit confusing as of late (pretty much right after the anime ended actually) so in a nutshell, Teito was a slave of the military, trained and raised as a solider During his final exam things don't go as planned and Teito is forced to flee or risk being killed and ends up taking shelter in a nearby church (which has enough power to oppose the military). He, or rather the people around him in the church, make a startling discovery that explains why the military is so desperate to get him back. He unknowingly possesses one of the two greatest weapons in the world, the Eye of Raphel, which belonged to the Kingdom of Raggs that was destroyed ten years earlier yet almost as far back as he can remember Teito has been owned by someone who belonged to the Barsburg military, the opposing side. But the military isn't the only one hiding secrets, the Church has plenty to spare and Teito ends up in the thick of those as well involving malevolent spirits and death gods. But the more is revealed the more it's made clear that all these current events are connected to the events ten years prior and Teito plays a bigger role in them than anyone (except a genre-savvy reader) could've guessed.

It's a weird series, it's fantasy but not in a really low or high fantasy setting, it has a lot of European influences in it (it's yet another series that has decided to base it's church on the Roman Catholic one, at least unlike some it doesn't pretend to be very close to the real one) yet some of the things like the Ghosts are obviously based on Japanese stories. It's gotten complicated (I really avoided as many spoilers as I could in that summary) and partially probably because the scans I was reading for a while were out of order, missing pages, and missing a few chapters (which is why I dropped it and didn't pick it up again until last winter) I do have to think some to figure out where the latest reveal fits into the overall scheme but things are making sense and the story is moving quite determinedly towards it's goal. Of course, I've read Clamp's Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles and xxxHolic, I now have a very high tolerance for crazy, don't explain the plot until later on, storytelling, probably higher than most (and certainly higher than it should be) so I can follow what's going on if I spend a little bit of time making sure I have all the characters, their relationships, and the time right. And I don't mind the implied BL either, if you're someone who doesn't like BL, or who finds themselves whining when all these crazy fangirls watch your show and ship the characters, distracting everyone from what the show is really about, or someone who innocently(?) asks why a show had to have these kinds of relationships, just don't try this one out. Hell, avoid all of Zero Sum, that's my advice. If you are at least okay with (under?)tones of BL in a series and like fantasy, check this out. There was an anime adaptation a few years ago by Studio Deen which covered fairly faithfully the first two arcs of the story, if you've seen it recently enough you could probably dive straight into the manga (around volume 5 according to wikipedia) but since Viz has recently relicensed the manga and the first volume is due out in a week or two you might as well wait and start from the beginning. 

1 comment:

  1. You weren't able to find a good manga group shot? YOU SHOULD'VE ASKED MOI xD *a fan*

    Oh yeah, Zero-Sum is officially "shoujo", though some readers consider it as "josei" (plot too deep/complex for a shoujo series, or if there are mature themes), even "shounen", because of the action/violence (making it seem like it's for male readers)