Jiraishin

Title: Jiraishin
Genre: Action
Format: 19 Volumes
Mangaka: Tsutomo Takahashi

Synopsis: Kyoya Ida is the best detective at the Shinjuku Precinct in Tokyo. He has earned his reputation not because he follows the rules, but because he willingly decides not to, yet his methods are never illegal. And because of this he is handed the most difficult, violent and complex cases in the entire precinct. Cold as ice and with a clear mind Kyoya Ida will solve any crime, what ever the cost. His sense of justice will drive him trough any obstacle by any means necessary; murder, bribery and even death.

The Highlights
Action:
Wicked and fast paced, violent and graphic.
Characters: Interesting and yet undeveloped.
Art: Dark and great for the atmosphere.
Plot: Loose coherence, yet it all works by the the end.

Tsutomu Takahashi’s first work and by far the best I have read of him. Even though when the main character is underdeveloped and needs more background, it doesn’t matter, because the supporting cast do their work exceptionally by contrasting with Kyoya Ida more often than not. So by carefully reading the dialogs you can understand and know Kyoya Ida’s true colors, and many will not like what they see, but I sure did. I love stories with anti-heroes and what better than a great anti-hero.

Many of us are familiarized by now with Tsutomu Takahashi’s style by now, with his sketchy style that upon closer look reveal anything but a sketch, specially in the backgrounds. The lighting effects are excellent and the way he uses them to build the dark atmosphere up is perfect and constant. Opposing this perfection we have the evolving character designs, don’t get me wrong his character designs are good and tend to get better as you read trough, but his style changes a lot. I couldn’t help myself reading trough the first volumes and being reminded of Naoki Urasawa’s style. But this changes by the later volumes by showing a more personal style that we now love and recognize.

The aspect that troubled me the most was the absence of coherence between the volumes or even chapters. For a few exceptions almost every volume is composed of individual and unrelated chapters, and when they are related they only last one volume, again, with only one exception. So there is really no basic story or plot to follow, it is like a recollection of Kyoya Ida’s most difficult cases. This is a really heavy blow because it makes some of the chapters useless and it wouldn’t have had any effect on the outcome of the manga if they didn’t exist. They end up being cool filler, but filler none the less.

All parts taken into consideration, I think that Jiraishin is a must in every bookshelf, even if you don’t read manga, this 19 volume series is very well worth the time, money and bookshelf space, since its drawbacks aren’t that incapacitating.

The Rating: 9
9/10

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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