Kekkai Sensen Manga: Worth Reading?

Kekkai Sensen Manga first published a one-shot chapter in Shueisha’s shonen manga magazine Jump Square in May 2008.

2 min read
By Akash
Kekkai Sensen Manga: Worth Reading?

Kekkai Sensen Manga is a Japanese mamga series written and illustrated by Yasuhiro Nightow. It revolves around a young photographer named Leonardo Watch, who obtains ‘the All Seeing Eyes of the Gods’ at the cost of his sister’s eyesight. After the incident, Leonardo moves to the city of Hellsalem’s Lot to join an organization known as Libra to fight several monsters as well as terrorists. Kekkai Sensen Manga first published a one-shot chapter in Shueisha’s shonen manga magazine Jump Square in May 2008. A 3-chapter series, with the subtitle Mafūgai Kessha, was published in the same magazine from January to March 2009. Blood Blockade Battlefront was then serialized in Jump sq.19 from May 2010 to February 2015, when the magazine ceased publication. Shueisha compiled its chapters in ten tankobon volumes.

A direct sequel, titled Blood Blockade Battlefront: Back 2 Back was then serialized in Jump SQ.Crown from July 2015 until January 2018, when the magazine ceased publication, and the series was transferred to Jump SQ.Rise in April 2018. A 12-episode anime television series produced by Bones was broadcast from April to October 2015. A 12-episode second season was broadcast from October to December 2017.

Kekkai Sensen Manga anime adaptation centers around the crime fighting organization “Libra” and their battles in Hellsalem’s Lot, formerly known as New York City. Hellsalem’s Lot was created when a portal to the “Beyond” opened, becoming a paranormal melting pot of monsters, magic and the everyday mundane life, and it is up to Libra to clear the streets of trouble and prevent the horrors of this city from spreading to the outside world.

Kekkai Sensen Manga is Blood Blockade Battlefront, and I guarantee you it’s unlike anything else you’re going to read, probably ever. It’s action-packed. It’s hilarious. It’s horrifying. It’s abstract. It’s oddly relate-able. It’s a superhero story. It’s a slice of life story. It has no plot progression. It has great characterization. It’s a cross between Ugly Americans, Hellboy and Durarara!! that’s completely off-the-rails.

The story takes place in New York City after a portal to the Beyond opened and turned the place into a hellscape of demons, monsters and the downright abstract. Life is normal. NYC is now a hub where the ordinary and utterly fantastic have lunch next to each other at the diner down the street, and where sometimes the fate of the world is being decided right around the corner.

Now called Jerusalem’s Lot, it’s honestly as much a central character of this series as much as it is the setting. The whole concept of this manga wouldn’t work if the city weren’t so intricate, yet so completely out of logic’s reach at the same time. Nightow goes far out of his way to explore the culture, the locations and the denizens and factions of this place and it never becomes less interesting. His imagination is boundless.

The central movers and shakers here are the members of “Libra,” a top-secret crime-fighting outfit that makes sure all the demi-gods and powerful organizations floating around don’t destroy the world somehow. They’re a band comprised of super-powered misfits, martial artists, vampire hunters, mercenaries and one kid named Leonard.

Kekkai Sensen Manga progresses by showing the members of Libra taking on some unwieldy problems beyond imagination (except for Nightow’s apparently), such as a giant car-eating monster car rampaging through the city, or someone’s brain getting stolen, or trying to find somewhere to eat for lunch in the weirdest city in the universe.