By Shelley Pallis.
Grotesque monsters known as Impurities reside in Magano, a realm parallel to the present day. Exorcists purify these evil apparitions to protect the people. Rokuro Enmadou is opposed to becoming an exorcist, even though he has the talent to be one, but an oracle gives him the title of “Twin Star Exorcist,” the name bestowed upon married exorcists.
Benio Adashino, the girl who receives the title along with Rokuro, is determined to exorcise all the Impurities in the world. The two find themselves wrapped up in more and more battles together as the Twin Star Exorcists, and as Rokuro watches Benio fight with the wish to become stronger, he’s forced to face the weakness he’s lived with ever since the Hiinatsuki Tragedy. Now that his eyes are turned toward the battle again, thanks to Benio, Rokuro makes up his mind to fight as an exorcist once more, and the Twin Star Exorcists take on the most powerful of Impurities together!
After the requisite recap episode 14 (a handy way to start a new box) , the Twin Star Exorcist series plunges back into the reluctant teenage Impurity-fighting duo of Rokuro, a boy haunted by demons of his own, and Benio, the Kyoto posh-girl. Neither of them are particularly keen on the ancient prophecy that foretells they are fated to marry and produce a wonder-child, but both have got other things to worry about.
Unlike a lot of anime series for teenagers, which would have fixated on the above till the cows came home, Twin Star Exorcists is much keener on treating its leads as reluctant but dutiful buddies, like cops forced to partner up to deal with a greater evil. It also doesn’t scrimp on the story arc for Mayura, the Girl-Next-Door who might have been Rokuro’s love interest in any other series, but here is a pragmatic but cooperative assistant to Benio, the girl who (we are told) is fated to supplant her.
On the subject of chosen ones, creator Yoshiaki Suseno is one of the new generation of anointed comics artists in Japan, having graduated from the prestigious manga creation course at Kyoto Seika University. Famously run by manga goddess (not really a goddess, I realise you have to make this clear when discussing Japan) Keiko Takemiya, the Kyoto Seika course seems fated to produce the manga heavy-hitters of the future, with Suseno as an early star pupil. He began serialising The Experimental Notes of Dr Hyde and The Poor God soon after graduating, the latter of which was soon upgraded to an online comic with the characters’ dialogue read out by voice actors. It’s a voice… comic… so naturally in Japan it became known as a VOMIC. This was followed by Witch Girl College, in a story-packed five years before 2013, the year that he first began serialising Twin Star Exorcists. In the interim, he was awarded the Wakayama Cultural Prize, thereby proving that not a lot happens in his sleepy home prefecture. Either that, or they like exorcists there.
Twin Star Exorcists, box two, is released in the UK by Anime Limited.