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Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne


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Kusajabe Maron, the heroine of this manga series, will remind Americans of television's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer": both are high school students who secretly combat supernatural evil by night. But the concept behind Tanemura's series is more convoluted and downright wacky. As Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Maron is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc, a historical version of the warrior woman archetype that is now widespread in pop culture. Just how reincarnation can fit Joan of Arc's Catholicism goes unexplained. The devil has dispatched demons to enter into paintings, whose beauty "enslaves" onlookers' hearts, enabling demons to possess them. As God's agent Jeanne must exorcise these demons despite opposition from the police, who think she is vandalizing art. Further complicating matters are Maron's supposed best friend Miyako, who helps her detective father hunt Jeanne, and Maron's handsome classmate Chiaki, who, unsurprisingly, turns out to be Jeanne's masked rival Kaito Sinbad. What the stories lack in suspense they make up in energy with Tanemura's busy art style and stereotypically cute characters. The story of Maron's learning how to balance her two sides-confident Jeanne and emotionally vulnerable Maron-is what makes this book work. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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