Teenage exorcist ninja Matsuri has his hands full protecting his town from harmful ayakashi. But all that exorcising has hardened his heart to the playful and helpless ones. Enter Suzu, Matsuri’s childhood friend who has a crush on him, and who calls ayakashi her friends. But one day, when Suzu is attacked by a powerful ayakashi, Matsuri ends up magically transformed into a girl! The jutsu is permanent, so now he has two challenges—defeat the growing number of ayakashi targeting Suzu and learn how to live as a girl! Is he man, or woman, enough for the task?
Source: VIZ Media
Thoughts so far with the first 10 chapters: I already knew about Kentaro's current choice of genre right before jumping into the first chapter. Given that its about exorcists/ninjas and youkai, I was wondering if this was a chance for Kentaro to return to a more action oriented manga like Black Cat. Even though ninjas have become very familiar in manga and anime due to Naruto. But youkai are an interesting part of Japanese culture, and a lot can be done with them concerning story-telling. SPOILER: But you know what Kentaro chooses to do with youkai in the first chapter? He has a cat youkai turn the male protagonist into a girl. The author clearly intends to make a Gender-Bender series. Story- The story so far is focused on Matsuri finding a way to returning himself back to normal while protecting Suzu from youkai, since spirit seers are considered valuable sources of energy. And that is pretty much the entire plot, other than the perverted shenanigans that ensue because of youkai throughout the chapters, such as doppelgangers, possessed classmates, and over-zealous ninja rivals who don't know the meaning of the word personal space. Its going to get pretty old quickly if you're expecting the story to change direction. Art- The art is probably one of the higher points to the series. But that's no surprise, considering how nostalgic I am with the Black Cat manga. But unlike Black Cat, Ayakashi Triangle has some uninspiring fights, at least so far anyway. The art is more aimed at fanservice anyway, considering how the girls have glossy skin and gratituous fanservice shots. Characters- The characters aren't really that different from other series. Suzu is the childhood friend, Koga is the rival to the protagonist, and all of their female classmates from high school. They have a few traits, but nothing that truly makes them stand out. There's potential with Koga, but I'm not expecting anything from his character honestly. Overall- The series is Gender-Bender but it limits itself in how the protagonist is stuck is his female form. Ranma 1/2 had a lot of fun with constantly changing the gender of the protagonist. This was also the case with Hungry Marie, but the characters felt boring. Its no wonder why it got axed after 30+ chapters. There are many things this series is trying to be: High school life, exorcists, and youkai. But what its really trying to do is cater to the horny audience. I was honestly hoping Kentaro would turn down the fanservice, but I was expecting too much I guess. Its not like I want fanservice to be completely gone, I just don't want it to be the main focus of the story. And considering the focus of the next chapter, I can honestly say this series is not for me.
It's unmistakably a good manga. Whether we talk about the drawing, pacing or how entertaining it is. It's about an exorcist named Matsuri who tried to defend his childhood friend Suzu against a powerful ayakashi spirit but got turned into a woman in the process. Now they (Suzu and Matsuri) try to find a way to turn him back into a man while fighting ayashikis and becoming closer to each other. Like I said, it's really good. The drawing is impressive and the pacing is pleasant, alternating between comedy, cool action and interesting events giving details about the story. Ecchi takes up a huge space in the story.. A bit too much.. So much that even if you're used to avoiding ecchi scenes, you'll suffer a lot; but if you're not used to it but don't want ecchi, I wish you good luck.. Gender bender is really not that important, it's not badly used or anything but you don't have to bother saying "she" instead of "he" or expecting a "real" psychological change (simply thinking "oh I'm a girl so things are different" is not enough for example). It's not the aim of the manga and it's still used for comedy so it's not that big of a deal. Also I got the feeling the chapters were a mix of canon (=important for the story) and filler (=not so important but entertaining) and it's not a bad thing since it's well done, but it made me realize I don't have any chapter I would specifically remember after reading it.. There isn't a chapter or part so interesting I would read it again.. Overall, it's a really good manga. There are some little issues like the gender bender, canon + filler thing and too much ecchi but still, the drawing, pacing and comedy are well done and that's what makes it interesting.
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