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Kekkai Sensen – Manga Mondays

Posted on: March 1, 2010

This is a manga about punching. If you don't want punching, go somewhere else.With Trigun experiencing a revival with the upcoming movie, I was originally going to talk about Trigun Maximum in this space. Then, I realized that Trigun is over a decade old and many of you have already read it. On top of that, my copy of Yasuhiro Nightow’s latest manga, Kekkai Sensen (roughly, “Blood World Battlefront”) came in the mail, and I spent some time checking out his new work.

It’s an interesting little modern fantasy manga, but I don’t know how much of my interest comes from the fact that Nightow is behind it and how much of it comes out of the actual quality of the art and story. After all, Nightow himself said that the manga exists because he wanted to make “a manga where people shout out the names of their attacks,” and there’ no more generic manga type than the fighting fantasy.

More after the jump!

The main character of Kekkai Sensen is nominally Leonardo Watch (all names are roughly translated, he could officially be Leonard Wach for all I know), a young man who picks up odd jobs and is accidentally sucked into the vigilante organization known as Libra. But the real main character so far is the city he lives in, Herusalem’s Lot. The city used to be New York City, but three years before the manga’s opening, a gate from a demonic world only known as “Beyond” opens, flooding New York with refugees, criminals, and monsters. After years of chaos and bloodshed, the former residents of NYC live as best as they can in the nominally settled zone. Their lives are full of violence and crime and destruction, but they manage to scrape out livings alongside the new class of demons and magical monsters next door.

The first volume is a pretty exciting introduction to this world, as you find out just how bad regular people have it in Herusalem’s Lot. In the course  of just one day, Leonardo finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery, is attacked by the HLPD’s powered suits division after he falls in with Libra, and chases a monkey into Central Park after the villainous Femt, King of Depravity, summons a demonic terror and hides half of the summoning gate on the frightened creature. It’s a whirlwind tour of the worst parts of town, and between Nightow’s penchant for wildly deformed monster designs and his love of drawing gore, it’s grotesque and fascinating all at the same time.

Only one volume has been released so far, but there’s plenty of promise in Kekkai Sensen – the characters are interesting and interact well with each other, and the setting and back stories are fascinating. Add in Nightow’s unique touch for grisly action spreads and while KEkkai Sensen isn’t for everyone, I’m interested enough to add this to my must-follow list. Here’s hoping that Nightow doesn’t take too many of his infamous hiatuses from this one, because I’d like to see it develop.

1 Response to "Kekkai Sensen – Manga Mondays"

[…] reading Kekkai Sensen last week, I’m all psyched about Yasuhiro Nightow’s work again, and this makes me feel […]

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