“07-Ghost,” a mediocre manga


From the very start, “07-Ghost” is an extremely fast-paced manga. It runs through the first chapter, introducing the main character Teito Klein, his past, and the main antagonist in one fell swoop. Before I could process the onslaught of information, the main character falls into a completely different environment. The setting for this first chapter changed at lightning speed making it very hard to follow. Once it slowed to a steady pace the calm atmosphere made it far more understandable.

The authors introduced us to Teito, seeing more than his cold side hardened from a rough life of slavery and war. With his first friend, Teito showed an extremely cute side complete with sweet words and a soft coloring. His soldier instincts popped up throughout the volume, reminding readers that his thin figure contained the results of intense training. His fighting style is a elegant combination of physical strength and magic that is far above the level of his peers.

We also learn about the church Teito will call home, as well as its residents. The bishops have extreme personality quirks that helped to relate to the characters. They all differ greatly from one another and in multiple scenarios contrast and clash with their moral standards and ideals. Many of these interactions are light and funny with an amusing comedy aspect. The mild pace when establishing character traits was a welcomed change from the opening chapter.

I loved all of the character personalities, but it wasn’t possible to connect on a personal level to many of them. There is a far greater number of male characters which had extreme personalities and quirks, but none of their pasts are revealed to show why they were shaped to act the way they do. In addition, there are only four females that are constant through out the volume. Their personalities are all similar in a motherly/sisterly way. Only one of the females is more interesting than the others, with her being a mermaid that plays the church organ during her time on land.

The concept is filled with mythical guardians of the church and holy items that automatically made me interested. An interesting history and reasoning was created to explain why the guardians exist. The authors managed to make the explanation fit together properly in line with the rules of the realm. Even with ghosts and mermaids, however, I wouldn’t say the plot is anything special. They follow a basic format for manga, with a dark past for a highly successful main character. Even Teito escaping after being betrayed by the government and then finding ally is overdone at this point. That said, the manga is cute and fun to read with just enough darkness to keep it interesting.

This manga has angst in spades. While it does not go in depth with the characters’ mental state, everything that is happening to Teito hits the heart strings. He’s being ripped away from what he felt was normal and those he connected with as family. His past is a big part of it too. Living for years as a slave gave more well off students a reason to bully him. There is also the Father who was killed long ago who he now yearns to see once more.

The Kor, who are demonic creatures that feed off of people’s failed hopes and dreams, once prayed on Teito’s wishes for his future. Their interactions with Teito caused him more heartbreak than ever before, as well as awakening into his abilities. I have to pity these creatures and the people hosting them. The Kor take over the body of a human whose hopes have been crushed, yet the human’s memories are still present. The body knows of the pain and continues to live even as the Kor controls it.

Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara, the creators or mangaka of “07-Ghost” use a beautiful art style which minimizes trivial details so readers can focus their attention on what the characters are going through and saying. They also emphasize important object by adding clean, carefully placed lines to draw the eye. In contrast to this smooth style of drawing during calm part of the manga, the detail is ramped up during fight scenes. Weapons and clothing have harsher lines with the added details, though the smooth outlines are still present. The art style dates back to 2005, where the characters are not extremely cute with rounded everything, but they don’t have the sharp edges that could stab out the reader’s eyes. There is a mixture of both at a sweet medium.

While this manga wasn’t my favorite, it was very entertaining with the characters and mystical elements. The art definitely raises it’s rank (taking into account plot, characters, emotional depth, and art) for a final score of 8/10.

The school library has the first five volumes of this manga for anyone who wishes to check it out.