(ADV Manga, 2005)
™ and © 2002 Hirotaka Kisaragi/Biblos
When Akira, Riki, Shigeru, and Kazuya are struck by lightning, a pretty girl from an alternative dimension tells them they’ve also inadvertently come into possession of “the four God Beasts,” guardians of a gate that must be sealed. These “Summoners” can now call forth the powers of their beasts—if they can ever actually come to terms with the creatures (who aren’t altogether happy with their new living accommodations). The back–cover text calls this one a “bishoden masterpiece,” and, while our heroes are certainly are boy–band pretty, a masterpiece this isn’t. However, it does handle the boys’ friendship and their internal turmoil with as much seriousness as all the supernatural goings–on. But it also helps that they don’t suddenly decide to use their new powers to fight evil, though they’re inclined to do good when possible. They’re not so much super–heroes as boys on a journey to become men, the beasts as much metaphor for their struggles as they are monsters. Altogether, this makes for a nicely acquitted fantasy with Clamp–style art.
— S.A. Bennett
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