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TOKKO: Devil's Awaken    by Tohru Fujisawa order for
by Tohru Fujisawa
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

TOKKO: Devil's Awaken is just as hardcore as Tohru Fujisawa's other manga series, but much more horrific. The Parental Advisory on the front cover is definitely warranted, and even adults should be advised that this story is not for the faint of heart.

Even since his parents were brutally killed in a mass murder, Ranmaru Shindo has vowed to find out what really happened while protecting his younger sister. Both siblings have become cops, but Shindo has just been promoted to detective with the new Special Riot Squad, created to protect Tokyo from the recent string of violent crimes following violent earthquakes. As Shindo starts his new job, he realizes that the murders that have been plaguing Tokyo seem to be related to his parents' death five years before. Also, he learns that an agent of the elite Special Public Safety Bureau (TOKKO) is the same girl who has been haunting his dreams since the murder. On top of this, the leader of TOKKO seems to have taken an odd interest in Shindo an interest that may lead to clues about his destiny.

Fujisawa knows how to keep a reader engaged. Normally, I would not pick up a book of any kind about this sort of pre-apocalyptical horror, but once I started TOKKO: Devil's Awaken, I was hooked. The prologue is strange enough that the reader wants to find out what is happening, despite the promise of gorier scenes to come. Even the mild fan service did not detract from an otherwise intense and horrific tale.

Not only is Fujisawa's story impressive, so is his artwork. The graphics, filled with shadows and ghastly creatures, add to the mysterious and horrific mood of the narrative. The reactions of the characters in both body and face are extremely genuine, helping the reader to easily relate to them. The whole first volume shows just what a master Fujisawa is at visual storytelling. Tohru Fujisawa's TOKKO: Devil's Awaken is definitely not for everyone, but those who can tolerate the gore will find it to be an exceptional read.

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