Kantarou Ichinomiya is a young folklore scholar who moonlights as an exorcist. Ever since he was a child, he has been able to see and talk to various youkai (spirits). Now, he’s finally found his ultimate prize – Haruka, the legendary demon-eating tengu (winged men from Japanese folklore), who is a tall, beautiful man with large, angelic wings. Once Ichinomiya knows Haruka’s name (or the name of any spirit, for that matter), he has control over him. Now, Haruka is Ichinomiya’s somewhat reluctant sidekick in a series of misadventures as the young folklorist/demon-buster debunks charlatans, aids troubled youths, and rescues enslaved spirits. But is Ichinomiya ever honest with anyone?
Set during the Taisho period of Japan (1912-26), Tactics is a comedic fantasy from Kazuko Higashiyama and Sakura Kinoshita. There’s not a lot to be said for the story. It’s mildly entertaining, but the art is beautiful and well-drawn. Although many characters are androgynous, Tactics is not totally bishounen manga, and some of the material makes it a bit too old for kodomo manga (for children).
Why is it too old for children? The lead character, Ichinomiya, is a deceitful, manipulative liar. He does it all the time to the point where even the most casual or inattentive reader would notice. Maybe, that’s not the right character for a young reader. He may, however, be an age-appropriate anti-hero for ‘tweens as a sweet-natured go-getter.
Thanks to barnesandnoble.com for the images.