Kekkaishi DVD Set 1 (a J!-Ent Anime DVD Review)
September 7, 2011 by Michelle Tymon
“Kekkaishi Set 1″ is the first DVD collection from a fun, supernatural action series for all ages.”
Image courtesy of © Yellow Tanabe/Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise, VIZ, All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: Kekkaishi Set 1
DURATION: 325 Minutes
DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 WIDESCREEN, JAPANESE & ENGLISH STEREO
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Original Manga by Yellow Tanabe
Directed by Kenji Kodama
Music by Taku Iwasaki
Art Direction Shigemi Ikeda
Character Design by Hirotoshi Takaya
Produced by Koji Nagai/Naohiro Ogata
Featuring the following voice talent:
Hiroyuki Yoshino/Vic Mignogna as Yoshimori Sumimura
Rie Saito/Laura Bailey as Tokine Yukimura
Takeharu Oonishi/Troy Baker as Madarao
Masanori Ishii/Wally Wingert as Hakubi
Yohei Tadano/David Lodge as Shigemori Sumimura
Mayumi Tanaka/Barbara Goodson as Tokiko Yukimura
Saya Kazuki/Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Yurina Kanda
Houko Kuwashima/Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Yomi Kasuga
Kouichi Touchika/Tom Fahn as Patissier
Masako Nozawa/Mona Marshall as Mother-san
Atsushi Miyauchi/Patrick Seitz as Masamori Sumimura
Yoshimori Sumimura is a 14-year-old student at Karasumori School. Following a tradition come down through generations, he is the 22nd Kekkaishi of the Sumimura clan. But he’s also constantly fighting with his rival, Tokine Yukimura – a Kekkaishi herself and his childhood friend – about who is the rightful heir to the magical barrier arts. Protecting people from danger and growing stronger, Yoshimori will battle the forces of evil and protect the school grounds again tonight!
“Kekkaishi” follows the adventures of Yoshimori Sumimura and Tokine Yukimura, two young Kekkaishi who are normal junior high and high school students by day, and guardians against the supernatural by night. Their families have been Kekkaishi for generations and they are the latest in both families. Kekkaishi have magical powers to form barriers (kekkai) around ghosts and demons (ayakashi) and can trap them and vanquish them if needed.
Their school happens to be in Karasumori, where various supernatural beings show up at night so it is their duty to keep the area safe. Because of this, Yoshimori can be found asleep in class most of the time. The Sumimuras and Yukimuras are somewhat rival clans, but Yoshimori and Tokine grew up together both as friends and rivals. Tokine is the older of the two and much more skilled and serious. Yoshimori is quicker to act than think which usually gets him in trouble. He is less technical, buy possesses the power and potential to become stronger. They share a brother/sister type of relationship, but Yoshimori’s feelings for Tokine may be stronger than she may realize…
“Kekkaishi Set 1” focuses on the following main characters:
Yoshimori Sumimura – Yoshimori is a young Kekkaishi and the main character of the series. He is currently a junior high school student at Karasumori Academy. He is slightly clumsy and in general likes to act before he thinks. Tokine is his childhood friend and fellow Kekkaishi. They both go to school and live normal lives during the day and then protect Karasumori at night from any ghosts or ayakashi, resulting in him to sleep in class all the time. When they were younger, he was saved by Tokine when they were fighting an ayakashi resulting in her getting hurt. Since then, he swore that he would protect Tokine no matter what and to make sure no one got hurt in Karasumori again. His hobby is making sweets and his dream is to one day make the perfect candy castle for Tokine.
Tokine Yukimura – Tokine is another Kekkaishi and childhood friend of Yoshimori. She is slightly older than Yoshimori and the more serious of the two. She somewhat sees Yoshimori as a younger brother as well as a pest, asking him to keep his distance from her while they’re at school. When she was younger, she lost her father and at times, that still affects her. Just like Yoshimori, she spends her days attending Karasumori Academy and spends her nights as a Kekkaishi guarding Karasumori from evil. Despite feeling like Yoshimori is a pest at times, she still cares for him and sees his potential to become stronger and hopes that he sees it himself one day.
Madarao – Madarao is the ayakashi dog companion that serves Yoshimori.
Hakubi – Hakubi is the ayakashi dog companion that serves Tokine.
Shigemori Sumimura – Shigemori is Yoshimori’s grandfather and the head of the Sumimura household. He is quite loud and obnoxious, but takes his job as a Kekkaishi seriously.
Tokiko Yukimura – Tokiko is the head of the Yukimura household and Tokine’s grandmother. She is a colleague of Shigemori, however she seems to have some scorn towards the Sumimura family because of things that happened in the past.
Yurina Kanda – Yurina for the most part is just a normal girl that is in Yoshimori’s class; what makes her different is the fact that she can see ghosts. She relies on Yoshimori whenever she sees ghosts since she can’t do anything herself and she’s not able to tell the difference between a human and a ghost.
Yomi Kasuga – Yomi is a demon tamer from The Shadow Organization that is taken into the Yukimura household for a short while. She seems to have worked with Tokine’s father in the past and seems to be hiding something…
Patissier – The Patissier is a friendly ghost that had no idea that he was dead until Yoshimori befriends him.
Yumeko Hananokouji/Mother-san – Mother-san is a kind woman that acts as a counselor to spirits that haven’t passed on yet. Yoshimori always refers ghosts to her to get advice.
Masamori Sumimura – Masamori is Yoshimori’s older brother who is affiliated with the Shadow Organization.
“Kekkaishi Set One” features a total of 13 episodes on three DVDs. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:
- Episode 1- Scars – Yoshimori gets a harsh wake-up call concerning his duties at a young age.
- Episode 2- Yoshimori & Tokine – Yoshimori and Tokine have to balance being students by day and Kekkaishi by night.
- Episode 3- The Beautiful Demon Tamer – The Yukimura house gets a visitor named Yomi, but she seems to have some secret.
- Episode 4- Her Treasure – Yomi may lose the one thing she treasures because of decisions she made.
- Episode 5- The Sweet Ghost – Yoshimori runs into a friendly Patissier ghost who has no idea he died.
- Episode 6- Night Blooms of Karasumori – Yoshimori’s classmates try to sneak into the Karasumori Academy grounds at night, not knowing the dangers.
- Episode 7- The Best Cake in the World – Yoshimori tries to help the Patissier to move onto the next world.
- Episode 8- A Day in the Life of Yoshimori – Yoshimori tries to become a better Kekkaishi.
- Episode 9- A Dangerous Teacher – A dangerous teacher lurks in Karasumori Academy.
- Episode 10- Shikigami Chocolate Battle – Yoshimori uses shikigami to try to get the legendary chocolate cake…
- Episode 11- Koya & Madarao – Something from Madarao’s past comes back to visit.
- Episode 12- Sealing the Demon Dog – Madarao and Koya settle things.
- Episode 13- Masamori Sumimura Chief of the Night Troops – Masamori, Yoshimori’s older brother, appears.
VIDEO & AUDIO
“Kekkaishi Set 1” is presented in 16:9 and audio options include both Japanese and English. “Kekkaishi” is still a fairly new anime so all the animation looks great. There’s a bit of CG included with all of the kekkai being used in the series. The animation looks like what you would expect to see in a recent anime and it looks nice, but I don’t think anything makes it stand out from other recent anime.
The Japanese and English voice acting is both great and both casts are full of notable voice actors. The Japanese cast includes Hiroyuki Yoshino, Rie Kugimiya, Mayumi Tanaka, and Masako Nozawa. The English cast includes Vic Mignogna, Laura Bailey, Troy Baker, Barbara Goodson, and Colleen O’Shaughnessey. Jpop fans will probably enjoy the ending theme that is sung by Koshi Inaba from B’z as well.
Special features included in this DVD set are: Production Art, Episode 11 & 12 Storyboard Art, Clean Opening, Clean Ending, Japanese Cast Credits, Kekkaishi Trailer and other VIZ trailers.
“Kekkaishi” is a fun action-packed series dealing with the supernatural. The anime is a total of 52 episodes and this set contains the first 13 episodes of the series.
The target audience would be teenage boys or guys in general, but I think that this series is one that a broad audience can enjoy. The rating is 13+, but I think younger kids could enjoy this too. There is some blood and violence, but nothing too extreme so far. The humor as well as the relationship between Yoshimori and Tokine could appeal to a female audience as well.
Like many other action series to come from Shonen manga, they do well with mixing action and humor together. I think so far the strongest element in this series for me is the comedy aspect of the series. The interaction between Yoshimori and Tokine is fun to watch but so far my favorite characters in the series are actually their companion ayakashi, Madarao and Hakubi. The comments that come out of their mouths are some of the best that I’ve seen so far.
Kekkaishi is a fun series, but at this point in the show, I don’t see anything particularly unique to set it apart from other shonen action/comedy series. That’s not exactly a bad thing; people who enjoy Shonen Jump and Shonen Sunday series will probably enjoy this as well. I definitely did. I think people who enjoy “Inuyasha” and or “Bleach” will particularly enjoy this show.
I do enjoy the series so far, but because I have seen so many Shonen Jump and Shonen Sunday series, I would like to see a little more development as the series goes along. I am aware that it’s still very early in the series so there’s plenty of opportunity for more plot development and so far the series is interesting enough to keep the audience wanting to know what happens next. Another minor con I found in this series is a bit more personal: I’m not the biggest fan of the character designs. The character designs aren’t the worst I’ve seen, it’s just not my favorite.
Supernatural, funny, and full of action: “Kekkaishi” is bound to entertain a huge audience. If you enjoy shows like “Inuyasha” or “Bleach”, anything supernatural or other Shonen series, definitely check this series out.
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