“Clinical observation shows not only that love is with unexpected regularity accompanied by hate, and not only that in human relationships hate is frequently a forerunner of love, but also that in many circumstances hate changes into love and love into hate.” – Sigmund Freud
Supernatural manga Twin Star Exorcists starts with shark-toothed 14-year-old boy Rokuro Enmado, who lives with a band of exorcists. Two years earlier he was one of a tiny number of survivors of the Hinatsuki tragedy, in which a class of student exorcists were killed by a monster known as a “kegane”, which came from the demon world Magano. As a result of this, he now refuses to have anything to do with exorcism.
The problem is that exorcism is the only thing he is any good at. He ventures from one possible area of interest to another, with no talent at all. Whether it is singing, sport or comedy, he cannot do any of them. Nor is he any good at picking up girls his own age. While Rokuro is out shopping one day, a girl appears out of nowhere and lands in a river. He dives into the river to save her – forgetting that one of the other things he cannot do is swim – so the girl, whose name is Benio Adashino, has to rescue him. While Rokuro is showing Benio around town, Benio spots two nearby children suddenly disappear; they have been taken away by kegane to Magano. It turns out that she too is an exorcist, but one who is able to go to Magano and take on the kegane herself.
However, Rokuro follows her, and while Benio is good at fighting, the kegane in question seems a bit too powerful. So Rokuro takes it on, using a black talisman to give added strength to his right arm, to knock out the monster, and help rescue the children. Despite all this, Rokuro and Benio fail to get along. In fact they hate each other for getting in each other’s way. However, Benio is annoyed to find that this exorcist is moving in with his group.
Things however go from bad to worse for the pair. It is announced by the chief exorcist (and weirdo) Arima Tsuchimikado that the “Promised Child”, the greatest exorcist of them all, will soon arrive, and challenges both Rokuro and Benio to a duel. After a brief battle, Arima tells them to stop as they have proven his claim. However, neither one of them is the Promised Child. They are the “Twin Star Exorcists”, who will produce that Promised Child. In other words, it has been foretold that Rokuro and Benio will marry and have a child. A bit of a problem, seeing as how both of them hate each other, and Rokuro wants nothing more to do with exorcisms.
The plot is perhaps not that original: two people who are destined to fall in love and give birth to a god-like child. Neither is the idea of a couple who hate each other being forced to live with each other. Nisekoi does a similar thing and the relationship there seems more entertaining.
On the plus side, the artwork is good. The battle scenes, especially those in the demonic Magano world, are thrilling and slightly creepy. The character designs of Rokuro and Benio are also good. The cover art is especially striking, but I suspect that this is a case of not judging a book by its cover because at the moment it does not seem that original. It promises that there will more development with the arrival of a kegane who did something terrible to Benio’s family, and more information about Rokuro’s past. Hopefully it will be enough to keep the interest up.