Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yokai Doctor, vol. 1

By Yuki Sato
Published by Del Rey

Slugline: Even spirits need housecalls

Kutoko is the granddaughter of famous exorcist, but other than the ability to see spirits (called yokai) she has no other exorcist abilities. That doesn't prevent her from using what she does have to become accepted in her school by performing fake exorcisms. Kuro is an outsider in the school, believed to be a pervert but actually reacting to the spirits that only a few can see. Glad to see that someone else has her ability, Kutoko befriends Kuro but is surprised to learn that he is a yokai doctor, one who tries to treat and cure the yokai. From Kutoko's perspective yokai have always been hassle and harmful, but after Kuro rescues her from some trouble by helping not harming a yokai she decides to be his assistant, though not to wear any nurse's outfit. But she hasn't learned all of Kuro's secrets, he is not only a yokai doctor but a yokai himself.

This volume has an interesting beginning with the first two chapters being retold from the perspective of a different character before moving onto original material. This was the result of the first few chapters intending to be one-off story but being successful and the creator starting a series based on it. There are some minor changes to smooth things out for the continuing story, but it is interesting to look at things from another perspective, especially it is in the process we learn character traits. Other than that interesting opening, most of the characters and situations are unfortunately fairly standard and it remains to be seen whether the unusual opening was the result of more than just happy accident.

Yokai Doctor, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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