Isaleebelle got the chance to read the first volume of In/Spectre. BookWalker describes the manga:
Both touched by spirits called yokai， Kotoko and Kuro have gained unique superhuman powers. But to gain her powers Kotoko has given up an eye and a leg， and Kuro’s personal life is in shambles. So when Kotoko suggests they team up to deal with renegades from the spirit world， Kuro doesn’t have many other choices， but Kotoko might just have a few ulterior motives…
Here’s her thoughts on the manga.
BOLD, SLICK, AND MYSTERIOUS perfectly describe Chasiba Katase’s In/Spectre. Stuck between reality and the metaphysical world, what happens when these realms clash and present problems to both humans and spiritual beings? Just flipping through the first pages of In/Spectre’s graphic novel will have one wondering about the story right from the beginning.
In/Spectre indeed is a well planned and well crafted story. Although volume one exhibits a slow pace, it lays down the foundation that develops into each case, scenario, and story overall. The mood of In/Spectre is mysterious and quite eerie as it deals with the spiritual world and surreal phenomena. Many of the events involve youkai — which are supernatural beings like demons, specters, monsters, and such in Japanese folklore — as well as other mysterious life forms. Even though the characters are only attacking evil spirits and ghosts, the fights are bloody and action-packed and with the cases where beastly specters appear out of nowhere, it’s hard to predict what might happen next.
At eleven years of age, Kotoko Iwanaga sacrificed her right eye and left leg without a second thought to become the goddess of supernatural beings. To the youkai, she is considered their savior and their advocate between the supernatural and real world. Meanwhile, Kurou Sakuragawa is a twenty-two year old university student who’s unable to live a peaceful and happy life. The youkai fiercely hate and fear Kurou’s existence because of a certain event that occurred when he was eleven years old. However, despite their differences, both Kotoko and Kurou are similar as they both have the ability to perceive and interact with the supernatural. When the two inevitably partner up because of their circumstances, are the two meant truly for each other, or are they destined to lead separate and parallel lives in the future?
As the only ones who believe and are able to interact with the supernatural, Kotoko and Kurou have very important jobs bestowed upon them even without their wanting of it: exterminating ghosts and ghouls and keeping both humans and good youkai safe. It’s not so much Kurou’s duty to follow Kotoko with her cases, but he doesn’t have much choice as Kotoko’s striking and dominating personality overshadows Kurou — that is, until considering the romance between them. While Kotoko may be infatuated with Kurou, it doesn’t seem like he shares that same feeling as he acts more maturely to adhere to his status as an adult in society. Nonetheless, the development of their relationship will bring another element to the plot.
The character dynamics between Kotoko and Kurou are very similar to another popular works, such as Kyoukai no Kanata, where their relationships are muddled by the supernatural yet they need to work together to overcome their obstacles. In/Spectre also shares the horrific and bloody theme seen in Tokyo Ghoul with its eerie depiction of ghosts and body regeneration.
Overall, In/Spectre seems to be a promising graphic novel. It has a good plot and some interesting characters as it is driven by the story and the setting that it is in. If you’re interested in mystery, the supernatural, and some good action, then you might want to pick up In/Spectre and start crackin’ some cases, Inspector.
If you are interested in reading the manga, you can check it out here on BookWalker.