Rasetsu, Vol. 1-3
written by Chika Shiomi
Rasetsu is supposed to be finishing up high school, but instead she works full-time as an exorcist. From a young age, she was able to see spirits, and something very traumatic happened when she was 15. A demon captured her, wrestled her to the ground, and put a tattoo-like mark of a rose on her chest, saying it symbolized that she belonged to him. He promised to come collect her when she turned 20.
The only way around this is if she finds her one true love.
Now Rasetsu is 18 and an excellent demon fighter. She easily takes care of ghosts and hauntings. However, the demon who threatened her is often on her mind. How will she find her one true love?
Well, there are at least two possible candidates working in the same exorcism company she is. The first would be her coworker Kuryu, a tall, friendly psychic who has a special power with words. The second would be Yako, a former librarian and psychic who only recently became an exorcist. Right now, Yako seems to be the more likely candidate (though I personally prefer Kuryu). But if either man is her one true love, some things are going to have to change.
So far, the romantic element of Rasetsu is in the background, weaving in with the supernatural front story but not overtaking it. I think this works out really well. It reminds us that Rasetsu will have to figure something out before her twentieth birthday (either finding the right guy or defeating the demon another way) without bogging down the story with “Is it him or isn’t it?” excess. Rasetsu herself is a delightful heroine. She’s sassy and has a sweet tooth, and she always manages to get the job done.
Rasetsu is a really fun manga, great for fans of shojo, supernatural stories, or even romance (though the romance is in the backseat). Viz labels it as Older Teen, but inside the book the mangaka says it’s really aimed for adults. So, technically I would say it’s an adult book, since that’s the author’s opinion, but it’d easily get an audience of teenagers as well. Libraries ought to take a look. The art is very attractive, just as the characters in it are attractive. (We can’t have a shojo manga without good-looking characters, it seems.) This series is off to a very promising start.