Kenichi Kondo’s Dark Gathering is yet another supernatural manga involving otherworldy, demonic sorts of forces. However, there are a number of differences that set us apart. An eerily adorable young girl named Yayoi is involved in collecting ghosts, for example. Also while the protagonist Keitaro can sense spirits, he’s extremely reluctant. But what really intrigued me about the series is how it approaches sharing character motivations.
We know what Keitaro is up to right away, what with him being the protagonist and the reader directly following his adventures. The Dark Gathering manga kicks off by explaining how he was cursed, how a classmate close to him was also hurt as a result of it, and that he only just started trying to integrate into the world again upon starting college and develop more confidence in himself. He even becomes a tutor, which results in his being paired with Yayoi, in an attempt to become more social and reach out to people.
It’s when we start getting into supporting characters Eiko, Keitaro’s childhood friend, and Yayoi, his new tutoring student and Eiko’s cousin, that Dark Gathering gets more compelling. Over the course of the first volume of the manga, the truth about Yayoi and her motivations trickle out. It’s fascinating as it builds up. Especially since we’re seeing the trio deal with malicious, dangerous spirits who put Keitaro and them at risk of serious harm, then watch as Yayoi “collects” them for a purpose. She’s constantly pushing him into hazardous situations, and the initial chapters building up to the reveals as to “why” makes it more heartfelt than one would expect.
But what I also appreciate is the element of not really knowing what to expect from Eiko. She seems like this positive woman and force. She clearly cares about Yayoi, and it seems like Keitaro matters to her as well. But there are moments when Kondo has her eyes darken or something happens that makes you wonder about her. Especially as further revelations come throughout the course of the first three chapters. It left me with so many questions about what she’s dealing with, how involved she might be, and if she even helped influence why Keitaro was picked to be Yayoi’s tutor.
The first volume of the Dark Gathering manga does an admirable job of building up interest by making readers wonder what people are up to. Keitaro’s motivations are straightforward and uncomplicated. This provides quite a nice parallel with the more mysterious Yayoi. However, it’s also great to see that in the background, we have Eiko still offering yet another mystery.
Volume 1 of the Dark Gathering manga is now available via Viz Media.
The post Dark Gathering Makes You Question Characters’ Motives appeared first on Siliconera.