Manga Village

Rasetsu Volume 3

December 22, 2009

Being haunted by spirits seems to run in the family 0 this time, it’s Rasetsu’s mother who need help! Can Rasetsu dispel the spirits successfully with her own personal family issues weighing her down?

Rasetsu 3By Chika Shiomi
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Supernatural/Romance
Price: $9.99

While we do get a glimpse into Rasetsu’s personal life and past, the focus of this volume is really on the invisible love triangle of Rasetsu, Kuryu and Yako.  Even with the new twists introduced, it still hasn’t become a traditional shojo triangle, and that’s refreshing.  There is also a side story that tells how Aoi came to work with the Chief.

Yurara, the prequel to this series, set up an unusual love triangle, and Rasetsu seems to be following in its steps.  The love triangle between Rasetsu, Kuryu and Yako is obvious to the reader, but not to the characters.  Yako, who was slow in realizing his feelings for Guardian Spirit Yurara, hasn’t caught on to being part of the triangle here.  It’s nice to see that he hasn’t changed much over the intervening years, and is still clueless about relationships.  This fact makes Kuryu feel better since he thinks it gives him a better chance with Rasetsu.  But just a few of the right words from Yako sends Rasetsu reeling.

I really like how so far, the feelings the characters have for each other have been expressed or realized to everyone BUT the person in question.  Kuryu tries very subtly to tell Rasetsu how he feels about her, but ends up sounding like he’s more interested in her mother.  Yako, who may be denying any feelings because of his lingering feelings for GS Yurara, says exactly the right things without realizing it.  And that leaves Rasetsu, who knows who she loves, but holds back because she feels she can’t compete with literal ghosts from the past.

Rasetsu continues to keep the balance between the romance and exorcising.  The cases in this volume are a set up to Rasetsu’s realization.  The final chapter is a flashback that tells how Aoi came to work for the Chief, even though he doesn’t have any mystical powers.  While the story is told from Aoi’s point of view, the focus is really on the Chief, who remains an enigma.  Seemingly cold and unkind, we see another side to the Chief when he actually performs a release.  There is much more to him than we’ve seen, and I would really like to see more, though I have doubts that any more light will be shed on him, as the love triangle grows.

I’m still really enjoying Rasetsu and would rank it as one of my favorite shojo this year.  The characters continue to be the best part of it, such as Rasetsu and Yako’s friendly bickering.  Kuryu becomes easier to dislike in this volume, not that I’ve cared much for him in the first place.  But it makes the cheering for Yako and Rasetsu a lot easier.  I can’t wait to read what happens in the next volume!

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About the author

Lori Henderson is managing editor for Manga Village. She also has a personal manga blog at Manga Xanadu and a personal blog at Fangirl Xanadu. She also contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog. As the mother of two teen daughters, she needs all the escape she can get, which reading and writing about manga gives her.

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