Chloe is a late-20-something actress who had one major role in her teens and can’t seem to find another gig. On the way home from an audition she bombed, she’s attacked by ghosts and demons who have escaped Hades and are drawn to her for her superb occult power. Luckily, the Ghost Reaper Kai comes along and saves her, and turns out to be her biggest fan! He convinces Chloe to combine forces with him - literally - where she absorbs him and is able to transform into a Ghost Reaper with a magical scythe that is the embodiment of Kai.
I read this book around a week before writing this review, and I still don't know how to feel about it. On one hand, this somewhat feels like a new take on the magical girl trope with Chloe having to transform and have a special weapon, so I appreciate it for that element because the magical girl trope was a big part of my formative years reading manga. However, there are a lot of problematic moments of fan service and other inappropriateness - Kai continuously says he must be “inside” Chloe for the power to work; Chloe is a “Lolita” and looks like she's a teenager, and that’s part of her appeal to Kai; there are several problematic focal angles that highlight parts of Chloe’s body, often in the middle of action sequences. Chloe feels a little uncomfortable with the attention from Kai in this manner, but sort of brushes it off because he's handsome - which is not a message I think should be propagated. I think the overall story is interesting and could be fun if we could get away from the sort of creeper elements of Kai and just focus more on the badass female vibes.
The illustrations use a lot of older techniques, to the point where I thought this manga may have originally be published in the late 80s/early 90s, but that could be capitalizing on when Magical Girl was more popular. There are a lot of "unfinished" line work and strange digital shading that I hope was just in the review copy. The copy also read Western style from left to right, so that really threw me for a loop.
Sara's Rating: 5/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
This review was made possible with a digital reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
ISBN: 9781974729760 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 5/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Supernatural, Action Adventure, Magical Girl, VIZ Media
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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