- Mangaka : Takahashi, Rumiko
- Publisher : VIZ Media
- Genre : Shounen, Supernatural
- Published : September 2021 - Ongoing
After accidentally going through a portal, Nanoka finds herself transported to the Taisho era, where she encounters her first yokai and meets Mao. The encounter with the yokai didn’t leaver her in that great of shape. She eventually rcovers from her wounds with Mao’s assistance. She is then returned to her world and discovers she has gained some new abilities. She goes back toTaisho era for Mao and to look for answers. She seeks and learns that Mao has been placed under a curse along with his sword by a cat demon, Byoki and if anyone but Mao wields his sword shall meet their demise. But, a situation left Nanoka with no choice but to wield his sword to save his life.
If you have recognized the art style from the cover of this Manga, yes, it is none other than the creator of the Inuyasha, Maison Ikoku and Ranma ½ series. Mao’s world setting is quite similar to Inuyasha but in a somewhat different universe. After entering the past, Nanoka has been labelled as an Ayakashi by Mao, the exorcist.
The story’s pacing is quite decent, and the information they present is sufficed enough to make a solid development. There are some mysterious concepts to the story, but that wouldn’t be the primary genre of this series as it is more about tracking and hunting down the cat demon Byoki.
You thought a high school student would go crazy and sometimes whining when they find themselves in another world or dimension or the past. But no, not this one. Nanoka has been through an unexplainable accident at the shopping district that no even the police or the authorities can explain the supernatural phenomenon. Her optimistic personality allows her to look at the situations objectively, which creates good chemistry with Mao’s lack of emotions.
The fact that Mao’s doesn’t show many expressions in this series makes his character realistic because he's about 900 years old due to the curse from Byoki. In short, he doesn’t get surprised easily due to his long history of experience as an exorcist.
Otoya is Mao’s Shikigami. His job is to provide information and assist Mao at all times. The way he explains to Nanoka isn’t bad in terms of rubbing in her face kind. Details of enemies are presented respectfully, nothing more, nothing less, to Mao and Nanoka.
If you are tired of seeing many modern art styles from the Manga you have read, the artwork of this series is unique by itself. It may be classic, but the way she drew the monsters and characters are meant to cater for readers of all ages, letting us focus more on the story itself.
The arrangement of the series isn’t likely to get to the final battle instantly. Each chapter and content are a stepping stone to each other, and the context they build is solid for the upcoming development. It is all about the journey, not the final result.
Now, who wouldn’t be interested in living in a world with Yokai? In a fictional world, at least. We would have been cowering in our homes at night without sleep. It is nice to see the supernatural practices shown in the Manga that could be related to the ones we have heard in reality. It reminded us of how scary yokai can sometimes be, but that doesn’t mean every one of them is dangerous. Some yokai are peaceful and just want to live their own lives in peace and not disturb everyone. Each yokai have a story of their own and how they used their ability to manipulate and hunt humans.
Mao is created by a legendary mangaka, Rumiko Takahashi. Even though there are many modern art styles in the current manga market, she improves her unique art style. The characters may look classic to young generations, but the story she offered isn’t something we should look down upon. The progression is smooth and natural, the characters are likeable, and the yokai aren’t that intimidating as it is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. If you are interested in a slow pace manga that gets better and better as the story progresses about a high school girl who can visit both the past and the present world to find the truth behind such ability while helping Mao hunting down a demon cat so that he can lift his curse, you might want to give this one a chance.