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Manga creator, writer and illustrator Kazue Kato was born in Tokyo on July 20. In 2000, she won the prestigious Tezuka Award for her work Boku to Usagi (The Rabbit and Me) published in Akamaru Jump. From 2005 to 2006 her series Robo to Usakichi, a sci-fi adventure featuring a rabbit (again!) was published in the monthly magazine Shonen Sirius (Kodansha). Her latest series, Blue Exorcist, began in Jump Square in April of 2009.
Gr 11 Up-Orphaned at birth, 15-year-old Rin Okumura and his twin brother, Yukio, were raised in a monastery by Father Fujimoto. Hot-tempered Rin has spent most of his academic career getting into fights, while Yukio has received a scholarship to the prestigious True Cross Academy. One fateful brawl changes Rin's life as he learns that he is the son of Satan. Although demonic power runs through his veins, he vows to become an exorcist so that no one will die or suffer because of him. Taking the familiar premise of the powerful yet undisciplined novice seeking revenge, Kato crafts a highly entertaining story filled with exorcists, myriad demons, rituals, and other magical objects. The plot combines mystical elements with bursts of demon-fighting action. The quirky and likable characters act as humorous and intriguing guides to this strange world. Demons with burning flames, barbed tails, and long tongues and nails appear more creepy than horrific. The excellent artwork with its Victorian and Gothic touches offers detailed interiors and architecture. Attractive character designs showcase the exorcists-in-training, decked out in their fashionable school uniforms and even cooler demon-hunting accessories (skeleton keys, soul swords). This witty blend of mystery, melodrama, and action will appeal to fans of such supernatural manga as CLAMP's xxxholic (Del Rey, 2004) or Katsura Hoshino's "D.Gray-man" books (Viz Media). With its engrossing storytelling and detailed artwork, this atmospheric book will be appreciated by readers and aspiring artists.-June Shimonishi, Torrance Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.