Manga/Graphic Novel/Comic

Black Torch Vol. 1-3 by Tsuyoshi Takaki | Review | Booksmagick


What’s it about?

Jiro has been trained in Shinobi art his whole life but to his granddad’s great dismay gets into street fights too often. Gifted with the ability to talk to animals, Jiro doesn’t hesitate to save an injured cat which turns out to be a Mononoke called Rago. Rago is hunted by other Mononoke but Jiro hasn’t gone through all the trouble of nursing Rago back to health only to see him killed on his watch.


What I think about it – no spoilers for Vol. 2 & 3!

The first thing that drew me towards this manga was the cover of Vol. 1, which has everything I look for in a good read: a cat, an asshole main character and the promise of action. As it turns out Black Torch did not disappoint. It’s fast-paced, has cool characters and a lot of swearing.

What I liked about Black Torch

I definitely liked how action-focused the manga is. Jiro doesn’t get too much time to adjust to his new situation of fighting mononoke – he didn’t know they even existed a few hours before meeting Rago. He is thrown from one fight into the next, captured, imprisoned, made part of an anti-mononoke squad and has a soul-melt with Rago.

Jiro also has the ability to talk to animals which makes him quite likeable as he cares a lot about his animal friends. Right in the beginning he picks a fight with some thugs to protect a cat an a crow. He definitely has some classic shonen traits to him: stubborn, not the brightest, loud, passionate, heart in the right place, will fight for what he loves. He is a bit like Natsu from Fairy Tail but with more grit and swearing.

The story itself is nice, nothing particularly new or exciting but definitely fun and enjoyable! I think it could have been expanded a little. The characters got their backstories but I think there could have been more depth to their past. Rago in especial has lived for hundreds and hundreds of years and must have been involved in so many skirmishes, fights and drama and I am really curious about it.

What I didn’t like

  • Take a look at the cover of Vol. 2 and take a guess.

  • The banter and the swearing was a bit cringy because it was overused and nobody had a normal speech pattern. This might be because of the translation but even I get tired of people calling each other ‘shitty brat‘ all the time.

Conclusion

A perfect manga series for in between. Black Torch will be concluded in 5 volumes and I am already looking forward to the last two volumes! As always there was a cliffhanger at the end – aaaaargh. Cool characters who could have gotten more depth, a solid story which kept me reading and awesome action. Swearing and name-calling was overused after some time but all in all I would totally recommend this manga.

For readers of Blue Exorcist and Tokyo Ghoul!


Bibliography

  • Mangaka: Tsuyoshi Takaki
  • Pages: 200
  • For Ages: 14 and up
  • Publisher: VIZ Media
  • Release Date: August 7, 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1-9747-0046-2

Header image for this post has been taken from VIZ Media

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