Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Panic X Panic, vol. 1

By Mika Kawamura
Published in the US by Del Rey

Slugline:  Why are the bad guys always more interesting than the good guys?

Mitsuki and Kakeru have grown up across the street from each other, her the heir of a Shinto shrine while Kakeru the son of a priest, while their fathers were in constant competition.  That competition has spilled over to their children's relationship so that they do not get along either in school to the surprise of their classmates.  They usually just annoy each other but now demons that have been kept out of the human world for hundreds of years have been released and only Mitsuki and Kakeru can stop them.  Until they find the seals to permanently seal away the demons, they have to work together to convince the demons that have entered the world to behave themselves. 

What a surprise.  The most popular boy and girl in school can't stand each other despite knowing each other since childhood now they have to save the world from a threat that no one else can perceive.  While the plot aspects of this manga are interesting and show some originality the characters themselves do not.  If anything they show very cookie-cutter characteristics, especially in that despite Mitsuki's supposedly equal power in dealing with demons she is instead acts helpless and deals mostly with the demons by talking and making friends with them.  Considering how cliche it is for the girl to be the one to fulfill that role in a story, the characters need to be really interesting in order to overcome that and none of them are up to the challenge.  This is a case where the formulaic approach overcomes everything else and makes this an easily forgettable manga.

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

- Ferdinand

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