Hi! Welcome to the fist manga review on this blog (to learn more about manga, read this post).
While I have quite a few favorite titles I want to share with you, 07-Ghost recently captured my attention and I’ve been inescapably hooked since then (it already has 4 volumes and I just discovered it last week. Can’t find a copy of the 4th one, though, grrr!) This manga is not for the little eyes and though it is labeled for older teens (16+), I would also recommend it to those 14+, as long as caregivers are ok with it.
The unlikely hero of this tale is an orphan and slave called Teito Klein, who has no memories of his life before slavery. He was found and enslaved by the Barsburg military 10 years ago at the end of the war with the kingdom of Raggs. Since then he has been trained for combat and the magical art of Zaiphon (the ability to use life force to heal, attack, or manipulate).
He must keep his cruel training a secret and attend classes at the Elite Barsburg Military Academy, where he makes his first and only friend, Mikage, whom he vows to protect at the cost of his life.
Things quickly take a turn for the worse, as Teito’s lost memory is triggered and he attacks one of the Barsburg high-ranking officers. Slated for death, he escapes and soon discovers a terrible secret involving his lost memories, a death god and seven ghosts.
This manga has one of the richest plots I have ever read in this format, which is why I both love it and have to give it a 4.5/5 rating instead of 5. The story takes off too quickly, which lead to some confusion and rereading. There is a lot of information crammed into the chapters and the emotions between Teito and Mikage are a bit overdone for the sake of getting to the action.
Once the background information is taken care of, the authors do a much better job with pacing and though there is still plenty of information to process, it is spread more evenly throughout the book. Excluding the first few chapters, the story hooks the reader and does not let go. The topics addressed in just the fist volume include: family, friendship, sacrificing for others, working hard to succeed, mercy, charity and acceptance.
As a reader I was compelled to keep rooting for Teito even as his dark past is revealed. I am a sucker for characters who suffer immensely and struggle to remain sane and good in the face of adversity. Teito and the seven ghosts are constantly in a struggle between the good and evil both inside and out. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and hope that it keeps getting better. So far, so good!
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