Feb 6, 2008
Togari Volume 3 by Yoshinori Natsume. Translated by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt. Originally published in Japan by Shogakukan in 2001. Published in US by Viz, $9.99, Rated T+ for Older Teen.
Tobei is still getting adjusted to being human again as he hunts down more toga in his effort to escape the underworld by killing 108 sins in 108 days. Probably the hardest thing he's done is trying to understand human kindness and that there are actually people in this world that care about his welfare. The battle to understand human compassion is perhaps a more difficult conflict that battling with Toga. But even that more straightforward task is becoming increasingly more complex as he finds that some of the Toga are exhibiting more intelligence and even show the ability to merge with their human hosts instead of being ghostly shadows that only he can see. On top of all this, Detective Sawazaki is determined to find out whether Tobei is the source of all the weird occurrences occuring in the city or whether Tobei is a hero battling to end them.
I would have to say that Volume 3 of Togari is one of the fastest reads I've had in recent memory, clocking in at around 30 minutes. Just because this title is simple and direct to the point of bluntness doesn't mean it suffers in the quality department. In fact its economy of storytelling gives it a momentum and excitement lacking in other titles. The action sequences are always well drawn and always easy to understand. Even though there are lots of battle pieces, there are actually less than you would think in a series of this type. In fact, Volume 3 delves a bit into characterization by telling about Sawazaki's past when he was a junior officer working with Itsuki's dad. Togari is a title that is unfortunately looked over a bit in a market inundated with demon-slaying titles. I also really enjoy Natsume's hand painted covers.
See Podcast Episode 33 for a review of Volume 2 of Togari.
My Grade: A