Friday, April 19, 2013

Taimashin, vol. 6, review

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Taimashin, Vol. 6, story by Hideyuki Kikuchi, art by Misaki Saitoh, Grade: A-
This marks the final volume of the current storyline. While I'm having trouble verifying it, I think there was a shift in publishers or magazines after this point. Anyway, I believe that the remaining books in the Taimanshin series are placed on a different set of shelves at the bookstore. Regardless, I've only seen up to volume 6 in the Comic Birz section at Book Off, and the present arc ends here.

(From left: Kisou, Kurusu and Ayakashi)

Things wrap up pretty quickly. There's lots of action and not much real exposition. Jingo Kisou uses a needle trap to defeat the arrow-shooting demon, but it switches to a gun at the last second and hits Jingo in the shoulder. The influx of demon blood forces Jingo back into demon form, but he's not in control of his actions now. Hayato Kurusu wakes up Mayu and Garada, but the hand of her demon sister is still attached to Mayu's leg and she can't run in her current condition. Instead, Garada has to carry her piggyback.  The two ram into Kyougo Ayakashi and Taima, who haven't yet noticed that they're also being pursued by a demon. Taima's hand is forced and he pulls out his "god needle" and uses it to blow the demon up. The party of four go back into the parking garage, but it's empty now except for a wavering force gate. Kyougo leads Mayu and Garada up to the surface, while Taima steps through the force gate. It takes Taima into an old stone tunnel under the Touka mansion, where he finds Kurusu just standing around. Seems that the tunnel leads to a massive underground clock works that is connected to the wind generators on the surface. Kurusu speculates that the wind generators weren't enough to turn the gears, which is why the Touka have been summoning the demons.

At the other end of the room is another force gate, this one in the shape of a skewed doorway. The two acupuncture masters step through the gate and find themselves in a big room that looks like a super-sized Japanese estate house. On the floor is a futon, with a large demon sleeping on it, and a second demon collapsed at the first one's feet. Taima guesses that Kisou fought the sleeping demon and lost. The sleeping demon wakes up - it has Grandmother Touka's face sticking out of its chest. Initially, Granny claims to be a victim entangled in the demon's body, but when Taima refuses to buy this story, she orders the demon to kill both humans. At the same time, demons start showing up all over Earth, causing chaos and death. Hayato has run out of U.S. Army technology, and Taima is forced to use the "god needle" a second time. Kisou has woken up in human form again, and he protests that using the "god needle" twice always results in the death of the practitioner. Taima strikes anyway, and Granny dies. Taima survives, but is now half-dead. He asks how Kurusu has gotten involved in this affair, and Hayato answers that a demon gate on Earth had been detected by spy satellites, and he was dispatched to investigate it. The force gate starts collapsing, but the group notices a hole in one wall of the room. Taima and Hayato walk into the room, which has a big mirror with black smoke flowing from the base. This is the true demon gate, and is Hayato's main objective.

Taima doesn't want to let  the U.S. Army get its hands on the mirror, so the two of them have to duel it out. Taima paralyzes one half of Hayato's body with a needle, so the soldier uses his own needle to create a blood spell that will entrap anything living. Unfortunately, he's standing with his back to the mirror and a demon reaches out to grab him and pull him through to the demon world. Hayato begs Taima to save him, and Taima shrugs off the blood spell to grab Hayato's arm and pull the guy back free (the blood spell apparently doesn't work on the dead). Meanwhile, up on the surface, Kyougo is using a special family needle technique of "aligned planets" to remove the demon hand clutching Mayu's leg. The technique works, the hand drops off, and the demon elements inside her body are ejected in the shapes of small worlds. Somehow, this also causes the gates around Earth to close and the invading demons to be expelled back to their own world. The gang is finally completely reunited on the surface and the story ends.

Overall, I like this story for the character designs. A lot of the background art is too dark and muddy to make out details, and the story itself is kind of silly. But, I don't hate it outright. According to the wiki entry, the first book had been released in the U.S. by ADV Manga, but they later lost the rights to the rest of the series. The author, Hideyuki Kikuchi, wrote the Vampire Hunter D novels, so if you like his work, you may want to check out Taimashin.


Bunny said...

re: Saitou Misaki
Try her newer works.
Totsugami for example.
She's also active on twitter.

TSOTE said...

Hi Bunny!
I have read the first one or two volumes of Totsugami, which I do like. It's just that I haven't seen any other volumes at Book Off since then.