Manga Quick Information
Every once in a while, a new manga series comes along which stands out from the crowd. ‘07-Ghost’ by Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara is one of those rare beasts that grabs the heart and mind from the very first pages and carries the reader along at breakneck speed.
‘07-Ghost’ tells the story of orphan Teito Klein who is a promising cadet at the elite Barsburg Empire Military Academy where the students are preparing for their final examination. Ostracized by his peers (he was a slave before he entered the academy) his only friend is his room-mate, the cheerful and loyal Mikage.
Teito is troubled by fleeting dreams of his early life, but can remember nothing of who he is or where he came from – until the day he accidentally discovers a terrible secret about his past. He overhears the senior officers talking of him, mentioning the Eye of Mikhail and the Eye of Raphael and the murdered Raggs Royal Family. Even though the names mean nothing to him, this episode triggers a sudden flashback to a searingly traumatic event in his childhood: the death of his father.
Fleeing the Academy, Teito finds refuge at the Barsburg Church where three bishops (the unconventional Frau, Castor, and Labrador) take him under their wing. But the officers of the Imperial Army are after Teito and they set in motion a plan which will utilize the most cruel and unexpected ways to regain control of him. But who are the sinister Seven Ghosts of the Barsburg Church – and what links do they have with Teito’s forgotten past?
I really like the fresh approach that Amemiya and Ichihara bring to this exciting shonen/shojo fantasy adventure. The story moves along swiftlyThey have created believable, sympathetic characters and a fascinatingly dark mythology. Ichihara’s artwork is distinctive and powerful, with some breathtaking action sequences. The magic systems are imaginative and well realized; the military utilize Zaiphon: ‘a rare gift…mainly used with a motion of the hands…(that) can transform life energy into different forms.’ And this first volume only reveals a little of the Seven Ghosts and their eternal battle against the God of Death, Verloren, and his emissaries (Kors).
Particularly praiseworthy is that fact that the imperial military are not portrayed as one-dimensional villains, even though they are seen to commit some unforgivable acts; the mangaka have already begun to develop them as fully-rounded individuals, which will lead to some interesting conflicts in future volumes.
It’s difficult to believe that this is the pair’s debut series. And this is only the first volume; it gets even better (yes, I confess that I’ve read on ahead and I’m really looking forward to the next volume which is due out in April.) The military uniforms may set off resonances with ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ for some readers, but the story, although equally powerful, follows a very different path. Currently being made into an anime series (due to start airing in April in Japan) ‘07-Ghost’ is the most promising new series I’ve encountered in a long while.
This volume makes a thrilling start to what I hope will prove a long and fruitful partnership. Highly recommended!
|Score:||9 out of 10|
|Date Published:||Sat, 14 Feb 2009|