(CLAMP) Gate 7 Manga Chapter 01 Review

Gate 7 Manga Chapter 01 Review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Gate 7 Manga Chapter 01Chikahito is getting to do what he’d always dreamed of — move to Kyoto and attend high school there.  He’s looking for an apartment that will allow minors to live in them unsupervised which are also in his price range — not an easy task. He remembers his first trip to Kyoto and his adventure then with the girl Hana and her two male companions.  Deciding to take a lunch break to try nishin soba, Chikahito discovers Hana and her two companions already there. Hana takes Chikahito by the hand and leads him to their table, where a waiter brings out four bowls of nishin soba.  Chikahito is given one of Hana’s bowls and the light-haired male, Sakura, orders a replacement for Hana.

After the meal, the foursome walk out where Chikahito reveals he’ll be living in Kyoto now.  Upon hearing the circumstances that so convienently made it possible for Chikahito to come to Kyoto, Hana’s dark-haired male companion, Tachibana, realizes Hana might be behind this.  The foursome heads to a shrine that Chikahito has heard about and has now made his first trip to. Hana asks him if he’s glad he came and he is. Sakura asks him to take a look at the wishes posted in the shelter for such things.  Reading the wish tags hung there, Chikahito discovers the wishes are negatively targeted at people (and even a ghost). Sakura explains that this kind of thing is what they are here to take care of, which Chikahito understands to be the monster that Hana had to fight on her previous visit.

Sakura raises a barrier but despite trying to keep Chikahito out, he’s within it just the same. A spirit creature, formed like an Asian lion, appears and roars.  Having analyzed it as a lunar creature, Tachibana creates three-bladed shuriken for Hana to use.  Sakura explains to Chikahito that based on the creature they fight, they have to create the appropriate weapon. As this lion-creature is lunar, Tachibana has to create a weapon with his solar magic but in the previous encounter, the creature was solar based and thus Sakura had to create a weapon with lunar magic.

Chikahito is worried for Hana but restrained by her companions as she infuses the weapons with her own fire magic and quickly dispatches the beast.  She leaps the distance back Chikahito and tells him that he can live with them. This confirms to Tachibana and Sakura that Hana used her modoridori technique when she kissed Chikahito on his previous visit to Kyoto. That meant that things would immediately work out so that the person kissed would return to the person doing the kissing, which is what happened with Chikahito. Hana asks if this is a bad thing but since it is not, she’s eager to have Chikahito live with them. Sakura says that since Chikahito can cook, he’ll be a help to them as Tachibana resigns to Hana’s wishes. As such, Chikahito finds himself with new companions in Kyoto.

Thoughts/Review:

This chapter, combined with the preview chapter, is rather how I saw xxxHOLiC going after it shifted to a shounen title. I envisioned wishes coming into Watanuki, some of which would be like the time he and Doumeki went to the school where the kids had been playing Tenshi-san and drudged up some nastiness or when Watanuki went to rescue Zashiki-Warashi.  Doumeki and Kohane-chan would then be Watanuki’s hands-and-feet with Doumeki having that ring weapon that can turn into a spirit bow.  So I could see them doing missions like we’ve seen Hana, Tachibana, and Sakura do.  Alas, that was not to be.

So instead, we have new characters to do these things.  Instead of having someone make a wish, the trio (or maybe just Hana) senses where the trouble in Kyoto is going to be and off they go to do some purging.  Add to the mix someone with apparently no special abilities or magical powers but is someone able to be within their barriers (which are very much like the Fuzetsu from Shakugan no Shana), see what they see, and who’s memory cannot be modified by the magic of Tachibana/Sakura.  So there is some interest here, more so for me in the potential relationship between Hana and Chikahito.

CLAMP is clearly using some elements from xxxHOLiC in Gate 7, but I noticed other things as well. The concept of moon and sun magic was a major part of Cardcaptor Sakura but really wasn’t touched on heavily in xxxHOLiC (I don’t recall it being a major part of Tsubasa either).  The relationship between Chikahito and Hana has a certain level of familiarity coming from Chobits with the relationship between Hideki and Chi.  That was really highlighted when Hana leaped back to Chikahito and took his hands while appearing to float down to the ground.  Chi did that with Hideki more than once as I recall it.

Through two chapters, CLAMP prove once again that they know how to start a manga and make interesting characters. While they haven’t established Hana’s age, they keep her appearance pure and wholesome but at times she comes off as more mature and other times as a kid.  The combination works well which makes her very likable.

In the first chapter, CLAMP’s color art was more like what they did with other titles like Chobits or Clover.  This time, they’ve continued the art style established in xxxHOLiC and Tsubasa, where the characters are super pale and the color scheme used is “sparse” (for lack of a better term).  I’m hoping they don’t continue just using this style but also use the beautiful art style as seen in Chobits and Clover.

So while I have no real feel for where Gate 7 is going (unlike xxxHOLiC where you knew it was about Watanuki’s problem or Tsubasa where it was about getting Sakura’s memories), I will continue reading just the same.

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