ZE 4 by Yuki Shimizu: C+

It’s maintenance time for the kami who serve the kotodama users of the Mitou family, which provides an opportunity to introduce some members of the extended family.

Volume three dealt primarily with the couple of Genma and Himi, an arc that carries over into the first few chapters of this volume. Himi, who had once been the kami of Genma’s father, protects his new master from an attack and “dies” as a result of his injuries. Genma is frantic to have him resurrected, but has trouble adjusting to the new Himi, who has the appearance of the original but none of his memories. I’d have more sympathy for Genma if he hadn’t been such a creep to Himi in the previous volume, but at least this is better than what follows.

After Himi’s maintenance is complete we meet a pair of extremely obnoxious twins and the kami they share. This whole episode—intended to be comedy, one assumes—is jarring because it doesn’t mesh at all with what’s just come before.

I seriously think the twins appear only because Shimizu wanted to draw a threesome, which is an example of ZE’s main problem. I’ve lost count of the characters who’ve appeared in this series so far, and it seems like mangaka Yuki Shimizu is focusing on variety rather than fleshing out any of the characters who’ve been present from the start. The guy who goes crazy for ice cream is still just the guy who goes crazy for ice cream, and nobody else seems poised to grow, either.

There were hints in earlier volumes of a larger story, and maybe those threads will be picked up again in the future, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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