Manga Review: Twin Star Exorcists Volume Two

Twin Star Exorcists Volume 2 focuses on Rokuro, a boy who once dreamed of being an exorcist but changed his mind after tragedy struck. Now in junior high, Rokuro has an encounter with a mysterious girl named Benio and he finds himself being drawn back into exorcism. The situation becomes complicated when it’s revealed that Rokuro and Benio are the “Twin Star Exorcists” and are fated to marry each other.

Twin Star Exorcists Volume 2
Written by: Yoshiaki Sukeno
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 6, 2015

Volume 2 starts out with a focus on forcing Rokuro and Benio to live together and forcing them to become a couple in order to fulfill their prophecy. As the Twin Star Exorcists, they are supposed to give birth to a prophesied child. Unfortunately, they’re not given a choice about living together, so they have to try to make the best of it. But it’s not easy to make it work, though, since the two of them hate each other so much.

This volume also includes a strong focus on character development for Benio. Through flashbacks, we start learning what happened to her parents and why she’s so driven as an exorcist. But when Benio finds the creature she’s been searching for, she receives some unexpected help from Rokuro. During this battle, Rokuro learns about Benio’s past and he shows toughness, yet kindness, when she can’t seem to find the strength to continue fighting after the creature has beaten her up quite a bit. This was a great character moment between Rokuro and Benio, and it seems to be the first step toward the two of them starting to be a little more understanding of each other.

Volume 2 also introduces Mayura Otomi, a childhood friend of Rokuro’s. It’s obvious rather early on when she’s introduced that she’s interested in Rokuro. Of course, he doesn’t seem to pick up on it. When Benio transfers into Rokuro’s class at school, he’s visibly upset. Mayura picks up on their animosity and is quite puzzled, since Rokuro hasn’t told her about anything that’s happened to him recently. When Rokuro tells Mayura that he’s moved, she and some of their classmates go to the house. Rokuro thinks the coast is clear, but it turns out Benio is there. Not surprisingly, Mayura takes this rather badly. But when Mayura is in danger, Rokuro rescues her. At this point, I think it’s safe to say that a love triangle is being set up here between Rokuro, Benio, and Mayura.

The last chapter of the volume throws a couple of major surprises at Benio, and it also reveals some important things about the Hinatsuki Dorm incident that’s been referenced in the series. But what these revelations entail could destroy the fragile relationship that Rokuro and Benio have started forming over the course of Twin Star Exorcists Volume 2.

There seems to be potential for Twin Star Exorcists, and I’m very interested in seeing where the series will go after the cliffhanger that ends this volume. Sure, in a lot of respects there are several basic ideas here that appear in other manga (such as the male and female protagonist who don’t like each other being fated to be together and a potential love triangle that includes a childhood friend, for example), but adding the exorcist element does at least provide a layer that helps to make this feel a little less cliché. But I still believe there could be potential here to move beyond the ordinary and clichéd elements, and hopefully future volumes will show that this series will find its own voice.

When it comes to the art, there really isn’t much here to make it stand out from the art that appears in similar manga series. But Sukeno does include some very good close-up panels of characters’ expressions that successfully capture the mood that’s being conveyed. Some of the action panels are eye catching as well.

I believe that Twin Star Exorcists Volume 2 will appeal to manga readers who enjoy supernatural stories featuring junior high age characters.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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