Kevin hasn't written a profile yet. That's ruddy mysterious...
Shrine of the Morning Mist Vol. 1
Author/Artist Hiroki Ugawa
It has to suck to be Tadahiro. I mean, he came to live with a family that he has a strained relationship with. He has a mysterious past with the middle sister of three, Yuzu, that only they know about, but that doesn't stop them being teased. Oh, and he gets attacked by a strange man in a long, black coat with a weird mask. And lets not forget that the spirit world seems to have set their sights on our poor hero. Insert said family to watch his arse and well, you can see why things aren’t that great.
The central theme is the relationship between Yuzu and Tadahiro and their complete stubborness to admit liking each other. Tadahiro is distant from everyone, whilst Yuzu would love to get closer to him. Watching the pushing and pulling between is entertainment in itself. Mix in Yuzu’s two sisters and the rest of the family and you can just tell Tadahiro is in for a rough ride.
While Shrine of the Morning Mist is mainly a fantasy manga, what with demons, shrines and Miko priestesses the main flavour, the comedic aspect comes a very close second. The three sisters have excellent chemistry, working well together when fighting, teasing mercilessly when at rest, but they are nothing short of entertaining throughout.
The downfall of this first volume is a lack of explanatory narrative. You can accept that, being the first volume, you won't get to know everything, key points are missed such as why Tadahiro is moving to be with his cousin’s family. There are some elements of an arc, but by the end of the volume you may feel quite lost. Hopefully this will be addressed in future volumes.
For an opening volume, Shrine of the Morning Mist has everything you would want from a fantasy manga, if you excuse the slightly fuddled narrative. It has demons, supernatural battles, comedy and of course a budding romance (even if they are cousins). The first volume leaves a lot of things open and confused, but this shouldn't keep you from getting hooked.