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07-Ghost Vol. 1 by Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 26, 2013 by  



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A new fantasy storyline from Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara!  “07-Ghosts” vol. 1 is a character establishing volume that goes into a lot of detail about the empire of Barsburg and various mythologies of the land.  An enjoyable first volume so far with many characters and a fascinating plot.  I look forward to reading volume 2!

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Image courtesy of © 07-Ghost.  All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: 07-Ghost Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: ICHIJINSHA, INC.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: November 13, 2012

All Teito Klein wants is to forget his murky past as an orphan and slave and to graduate from Barsburg’s military academy with his best friend Mikage. But when an overheard state secret triggers treasonous memories, he’s forced to flee from the very empire he once sought to defend!

 

Deliberately leaving Mikage behind, Teito escapes to the Barsburg Church. There, with the help of its three bishops, he begins to unravel his role in the story of an evil god, seven ghosts, two rival empires, and his own mysterious past.

In 2005, Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara created a fantasy manga titled “07-Ghost”.  Serialized in “Monthly Comic Zero” published by Ichijinsha, the manga is currently on it’s 14th volume and won a double-first prize in the third Zero-Sum Comics Grand-Prix which was chosen first place by readers and editors, a rare feat.

In 2009, the manga series received an anime and drama CD adaptation and while the manga was licensed by Go! Comi (an imprint of American manga publishing company, Go! Media Entertainment, LLC.) in 2009 but in 2010, the company’s website expired and the license to the series was picked up by Viz Media.

“07-Ghost” is set in the Barsburg Empire which is divided into seven districts.  The series introduces us to the upcoming graduates of the Barsburg Empire Military Academy and the main protagonist Teito Klein.

Teito is a person that no one at the Academy talks to or appreciates.  For one, they consider him sort of like a teacher’s pet, because he doesn’t have to do certain things that the other students must go through.  Also, he is a former slave of the Raggs Kingdom.  But he does have one friend and that’s Mikage.

Teito tends to have frightening dreams, about his father dying and trying to give him a message.  Seeing a pool of blood.

One day, Teito was going to turn in his report to Mr. Shigure until he overhears the heads of the academy talking about him.  How he has exceptional abilities and is a candidate for the Eye of Mikael.   It is revealed that the Barsburg Military dissected the entire royal family of Raggs in order to find the stone which belonged to the King of Raggss.

Immediately, memories start to come back to Teito and memories of the military leader Ayanami killing his father.  As Teito surges towards him, he is held back and imprisoned.

Mikage frees Teito and not wanting to get Mikage in trouble, Teito pretends that he had taken Mikage hostage.    As Teito escapes, Ayanami tries to stop Teito but Teito barely escapes with a shield.

As Teito escapes from the Academy, he ends up landing on a perverted bishop named Frau who takes him into the church.  Because he is in District 7, anyone who escapes to that area is protected by the church and the Barsburg Military are unable to interfere.  So, for now, Teito is in good hands as he tries to recuperate from his injuries.

While at the church, he learns about the guardians of the church and is told about the legend about the God of Death, Verloren, committing a heinous crime in Heaven and fleeing to Earth.  He invaded people’s hearts and terrorized them.  So, the overseer of Heaven sent Seven Rays of Light to punish Verloren.  They were known as the Seven Ghosts and have sealed the evil Verloren.  And the church has seven statues that protect the land.

Meanwhile, the military of Barsburg are intent in capturing Teito from the church and General Wakaba wants his military to use anything necessary to bring Teito back.  Even if it means blackmailing Mikage to get to Teito.

But other dark entities working for the evil Verloren, known as the KOR are interested in Teito as well.

Find out what happens in vol. 1 of “07-Ghost”!

The main characters of 07-Ghost are:

  • Teito Klein – The main protagonist and a former slave of Raggs.  He has been having nightmares of something terrible, but for Teito he is starting to realize that the nightmares are memories and that his father entrusted him with something special before he was killed by the Barsburg military.  He is not friends with many people at the Barsburg Military Academy because he receives special treatment, but in truth, Teito has exceptional fighting/magic skills.  His only good friend is Mikage.  But when Teito finds out that members of the Barsburg Military were responsible for his father’s death, Teito escapes from the military and is a wanted individual.
  • Frau – A perverted Bishop who saved Teito after his escape from the Barsburg Military Academy.   He is a member of the 07-Ghosts (Zehel) and is often teasing Teito.
  • Castor – A bishop who watches over Teito and a member of 07-Ghosts.
  • Labrador – A bishop who loves to garden and brew herbs for medicine.  He watches over Teito by giving him things to protect him.
  • Mikage – Teito’s good friend and both have promised that they will die together as best of friends.
  • Ayanami – The antagonist and Teito remembers him as the person responsible for his father’s murder.

For the first volume of “07-Ghost”, the storyline is fascinating.  While the premise for now is simple, a young man with amnesia who is a former slave of a kingdom that no longer exists, he knows that living is an importance for not only the Raggs Kingdom but his father’s wishes.

But now he is a wanted person by the Barsburg Military because of his exceptional magical skills. Fortunately for Teito, he is under the protection of the 07-Ghosts and resides in the church, which is off-limits for the Barsburg military.

So, the military tries to find ways to capture Teito, meanwhile, the church tries to find ways to protect Teito and learn more about him.

The first volume as one can expect features many characters but it’s more of a character driven volume that helps to establish Teito’s lack of memory of the past, Frau’s perverse behavior and attitude, Teito’s relationship to his good friend Mikage, establishing a few of the bishops of the church and also the primary antagonist Ayanami.

I have to admit that the first volume has so much detailed information that some may find themselves going back to read it, especially with a good number of characters introduced in the first volume, things get a little confusing.

But the first volume focuses on Teito’s memories, being protected by the church and the Barsburg military doing anything they can to capture him and that means using his good friend Mikage.

The character designs features quite a bit of closeups and some of the artwork for the action sequences do get a bit confusing at times and at times, I felt as I was lost and had to go back and read a certain area and find out who is who as the artwork tends to use a lot of line, less shading on characters (some designs are just all white and gray while blacks are utilized primarily for clothes, hair and line art.  But it’s a style of the series that got used to.

For the first volume, it’s enjoyable so far.  It will be interesting to see how far the military will go to capture Teito and how far the bishops will try to protect him. But I can tell that after this volume, the series will feature its first major tragedy.  But I’m enjoying this fantasy storyline so far and I am looking forward to volume 2 of “07-Ghost”!

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