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X -Kai-, Volume 1 by Asami Tohjoh
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X -Kai-, Volume 1

by Asami Tohjoh

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This is an interesting story about Kaito, a florist and assassin who uses his own code of ethics to determine who should be murdered. In the first episode Kaito is asked to bring Casablanca lilies (which also happen to be his "calling card" for the bodies he leaves behind) to the blind fiancée of a man who wants her dead. As the story moves forward we learn more about Kaito who seems both lonely and empathetic to those he meets. He certainly doesn't give an assassin sort of vibe, until he meets those other immoral killers he tends to hunt. When he discovers an orphan who has been watching him Kaito's sense of responsibility is touched and out of honor for the hospitalized brother who saved him he takes in the orphan, naming him Renge, after a mythologically fairy attracting blossom.

The artwork is well done, Kaito is an attractive character and Renge is very childlike. There is one very jarring panel of a murder scene, but otherwise I enjoyed the drawing as well as the story itself. Not one I'll read again, but good for a once through. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | Mar 7, 2010 |
I do confess that the only reason I read this was because it was an ‘X’ title that I needed for the A-Z Challenge. It was also my first manga, AND since it was originally in Japanese, I also counted it for the Japanese Literature Challenge. Reading a manga is interesting because you read the book from back to front and right to left. It wasn’t really that difficult to do, and I enjoyed reading this book just for the experience.

This book features Kaito, a skilled assassin who trained at a very young age. His day job is at a flower shop, and a mysterious woman comes there to give him his assignments. He then uses lilies as a guise to kill his victims. Kaito does have a heart, though, and even takes in a homeless boy. He also cares for his brother who is in a coma.

There are three mini-stories in this book, and some of the drawings are fairly graphic in nature so I would recommend this for adults only. Kaito is drawn in such a way that at first I didn’t know if he was male or female. However, he uses that as a disguise sometimes to lure his victims.

I would read the second volume, if only to fill the need for another ‘X’ title. Mangas are a new and very different genre for me. If you like manga and know of a series I might like, please let me know. ( )
1 vote 1morechapter | Nov 20, 2008 |
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