Jiu Jiu Vol. 1 TP (Manga)
Publisher: Viz Media
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Price: $9.99
Creator: Toya Tobina
Format: 200 pgs.; B&W; Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4215-4274-4
Age Rating: Older Teen
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

In the first volume of Jiu Jiu, we are introduced to Takamichi Hachioji.  Takamichi is a 16-year-old Dark Hunter and heir to a clan of demon slayers.  Three years prior to the start of the story, she received two half human-half demon wolf familiars named Snow and Night to serve by her side.  Unfortunately, as a child Takamichi lost her twin brother and that incident has caused her to keep everyone at arm's length including her familiars or Jiu Jiu as they are called.  Over the course of the first five chapters, we are slowly brought into their world and get to know what it's like to be a Dark Hunter while also slowly watching Takamichi open up her heart.

In Jiu Jiu Volume 1, the series introduces few characters and only a little of the Dark Hunter world which leaves readers frantically grasping at things to connect with and latch onto.  Luckily, out of the three main characters it's easy enough for readers to find at least one character to like.  While you might not like everyone (Takamichi, for example, is a very difficult heroine to like), there will be at least one character that teenagers in the audience can connect to.  The alienation Takamichi thrusts upon herself, violent disposition and lack of trust in others is what makes her so unlikeable yet so identifiable for teens and adults alike.  She wants to keep everyone at arm's length but has a responsibility that she must own up to at the same time.

Despite an unlikable heroine and thin story, there were genuine laughs and heartfelt moments which makes this a solid action comedy for teenagers and adults who still remember the feelings of alienation that come with being a teenager.  If you're looking for a new action comedy along the same basic lines of Chrono Crusade, this is worth picking up.

--L.B. Bryant