Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Taimashin, Vol. 3

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Taimashin, Vol. 3, story by Hideyuki Kikuchi, art by Misaki Saitoh, Grade: B+

Taima and Jingo attack simultaneously, with Taima taking a needle to the chest and Jingo getting stabbed in the eye that is covered by a patch. However, Jingo is the one that goes down. Taima claims that he knew where he was going to get hit and had protected himself in advance. He praises the other guy for doing so well, but Jingo is starting to leak blood. Then his skin explodes to reveal that he's been a demon all along, and had gone to school disguised as a human in order to learn how to seal other demons. Jingo is prepared to keep fighting, but the woman - Shinobu - recovers and begs them to both stop. Jingo disappears and the three remaining humans go into the basement chamber, which is packed with books and computers.

(Jingo and Taima.)

On a table is a demon mummy, and nearby is the burned remains of the top half of a demon, plus a demon statue. Ayakashi speculates that Jingo has been using the statue for controlling the other demon that's rampaging upstairs. As they stand there, Shinobu starts talking about her family's heritage, how many, many generations ago they had learned to master the demons. At that time, demon masters would call the demons to do work, but those brought to this world could never return to their own, and a battle resulted with demons eating practitioners and practitioners killing demons. Which brings them to her mother, demon fighter Taki Touka.

(Jingo lost.)

Taima wants to know about the spell the Touka family is using to control demons, and Ayakashi asks whether Taki is really dead. Shinobu acknowledges that the two are well-informed and agrees to keep talking. Meanwhile, back in the house, Mizuki enters Mayu's room and tells the girl that Taki wants to talk to her. Mayu realizes that her older sister has changed, and the woman answers that yes, the old Mizuki no longer exists and that she's joined their grandmother's side. And it's now Mayu's turn. The old woman is sitting in the middle of a huge room, and says that a danger has arisen. Mayu's mother, living in the tower, has learned of Taki's true form. Mayu is unsurprised, saying that she's known her grandmother is dead.

(Jingo really losing it.)

Taki wants to know when her secret was blown, and Mayu answers that when she was 5, she'd woken up in the middle of the night and seen demon shadows hovering around Taki's body in bed. She was still half-asleep and didn't know enough to be scared at the time. And in the tower, Shinobu says that they've now become protectors of the demons, since about the Heian era 800 years ago. Back in Taki's room, Mayu is being taught the demon sealing chant, which includes begging the demon to switch hearts with her, which is what she'd seen happen to Taki when she was 5. She asks if her grandmother and sister can be returned to her, and Taki replies that she'll soon join them.

In the tower, Ayakashi gets worried for Mayu and prepares to return to the house, but Shinobu also turns into a demon, traps their shadows so they can't move, and prepares to attack them. In the house, Taki suddenly screams in pain, holding her leg. Mayu tries to run, but Mizuki grabs her by the back of the neck, only to find a needle piercing her own hand. In the tower, Shinobu is also rolling around with a needle in her ankle. Jingo steps out of the shadows, and sticks Shinobu in the back with another needle. Ayakashi starts to go for the stairs up again, and Jingo says that Mayu is ok - he'd put a protecting needle in her neck for just such an emergency.

(Remembering when Taki had died.)

So, the girl should be safe, although she's still outnumbered. Mayu is now running through the halls of the house and she finds her path blocked by the frog priest, Garama, who is dripping wet. However, the priest is on her side (he'd just been taking his bath, fully clothed), and they get into a limo and drive out from the house. They get attacked by Mizuki the flying demon, but Maki Togetsu, Taima's assistant, comes roaring up on her bike to escort them. Maki disperses Mizuki with her own needle. In the tower, Jingo uses 2000 needles to seal Shinobu's body, and urges the other two to leave them in the tower and return to the house.

(Shinobu attacks.)

(And then she doesn't.)

Taima reaches the point where Mizuki was defeated and the trees have all been leveled. Shinobu wakes up enough to be controlled by Taki to use her shadow attack again, but Taima had left one of his own needles in her and she falls fully unconscious again. Taki arrives in person to fight full out, but Taima and Ayakashi both stick her with needles and she warps away to safety after spraying them both with black blood. Ayakashi wants to know what the next plan is, and Taima laughs at how dirty the guy's face has become. Maki uses her cell phone to tell her boss that they're returning to the hotel, but their path is going to take them to the ruined village. Taima says he's worried about the runaways and heads for the Jaguar.

(Taki loses her cool.)

Summary: Scary demons seem to the norm in these parts of Japan. But Taima and Ayakashi are unfazed by it all. Recommended.

(Taki blows up.)

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