Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation: BSI

Story and Art by Yoshiyuki Nishi
Released in the US by Viz

: I always knew lawyers could make a deal with the devil, but it is just not fair they can use him as an enforcer.

In modern Japan, the increase of supernatural incidents involving ghosts has lead to the creation of magic law, in which ghosts can be found guilty of various crimes and sentenced to ever more bizarre and creative sentences. Muhyo is an executor authorized to use magic law, and despite his small size he is far from being just competent with its use. Roji, on the other hand, is his second clerk (as in rank, not that there is another clerk around the office somewhere) who is far more empathetic with the plights of their clients. The volume is very episodic, each case its own episode, but in one episode showing just a hint of Muhyo's past and a possible long-term antagonist of the series.

The BSI part of the title, which I presume off a play off of CSI, is very apt. Like that series, while the stories here are not spectacular and the main characters are not very detailed, but the stories are still very solid. The main characters show enough depth that they are still interesting, their client's problems are suitably grotesque and the art is solid but also very evocative. My one concern is that the solution to the episode's horror may become a little too rote, that sometimes that there isn't enough of a challenge to it, but for the time being it is just a concern. While this does not aspire to great literature, it is still an entertaining read.

Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation: BSI is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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