07 Ghost is essentially a fantasy world about the church and the army, and the infestation of gods in both of them. Some people have a talent that enables them to use ‘zaiphon’, a sort of energy that takes the form of words and can be used to attack, manipulate and heal. However, the plot revolves around two relics of the world, the ‘eye of Mikhail’ and the ‘eye of Raphael’. 07 Ghost begins with Mikhail being lost, but you soon find out main character Teito Klein has it leading to the adventure as to why, when, what it is and who Teito really is.
What the wiki will tell you: 07-Ghost is a fantasy manga written and illustrated by Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara. It is set in a fantasy world with different laws, kingdoms, gods and magic. It is currently serialized in Monthly Comic Zero Sum, a shōjo manga magazine published monthly by Ichijinsha. As of March 2012, thirteen bound volumes have been released by the publisher. The manga was originally licensed by Go! Comi for release in North America, but they stopped publishing in October 2009 and Viz Media has since picked up the license for the series (November 2012). The series has been adapted into a drama CD and an anime television series from Studio Deen, which debuted in April 2009. 07-Ghost won a double-first prize in the third Zero-Sum Comics Grand-Prix, meaning it was chosen for first place by both readers and editors, which is very rare.
There will be spoilers from here on out, you have been warned.
Depth of storyline:
A refreshing break from the extended battles of Naruto and Dragonball Z, 07-Ghost in both anime and manga has a high tempo story movement; meaning you get closure quickly and new adventures arrive before you have devoured the last chapter. However, the anime has the insane ability to leave every episode on a cliff hanger, so if you aren’t watching them back to back, it will most likely possess your day until you can continue.
The anime stays true to the manga storyline, even though it only covers up to chapter 24 (the current amount of available printed books), except for some extra episodes that prolong the inevitable despise of a character that sets off the true storyline, and the weird finale that may or may not have been a dream.
Those of us who read ‘ahead’ (only acceptable if you go and buy the printed manga too, which my bank balance hates me for) will know that the anime series is such a tiny part of the world of 07-Ghost, once you do read the manga, the anime will not be enough to satiate your thirst for souls… I mean storyline.
The fear of many ongoing manga and anime series is that the mangaka suddenly flips the tables and the storyline is no longer what it started as. Not with this. Though 07 Ghost does evolve with the development of the main character, and the arcs take our heroes through a wide variety of circumstances, it remains on target.
07 Ghost is not yaoi, as such, but there is a distinct lack of female love interests… or female characters in general throughout. Even with the mass of nuns, the mermaid, even when the princess arrives with her cohort of attendants, they take an obvious back seat to the story. Only the princess has any real impact on the reader, but she is not introduced in the anime.
That does not mean the anime removes all feminine roles, but rather it accentuates what would be a silent part of the cast by giving the nuns script. They seem to wheedle their way into every episode, but they still don’t amount to anything more than fluff to fill time. They may be the servants of the Chief of Heaven, but they help no one.
The main problem with the manga is confusion. There is so much going on in a page that you may find yourself staring for a while just to figure out what it is you are looking at. Don’t assume I am mocking the art, it’s beautiful and I honestly believe if it was changed, it would lose its charm. As a reader you get used to hectic style. Watching the anime though, and the bits that you may find difficult to understand and ‘see’ at first, are completely clear. Perhaps all 07 Ghost needs is colour. It is imagined in glorious techni-colour, and the monochrome style of manga just can’t do it true justice.
Teito Klein / Wahrheit Tiashe Raggs
Teito automatically appealed to my overly developed maternal instinct. Like Gaara of the Desert (Naruto) and Oz Bezarius (Pandora Hearts) type characters, he just needs a hug and to be loved. However, converse to the tradition that these shoto characters are shunned by others, Teito is hugged and loved by everyone. Yet he constantly needs more attention.
However, it doesn’t make him weak. Somehow, Teito remains powerful and proud in his own right, but creates a bubble around him that makes others want to protect him. Though they usually fail, and the poor brat gets beat up and cries a lot.
I’m not the only who feels like this, even the archangel Mikhail loves him this much.
Frau / Zehel
Frau is my favourite kind of ‘guardian’; he’s broody, a pervert, powerful, is dark, is light, unbalanced and blonde. (Blondes in Japanese fiction are great. Other characters are always so obnoxious, in awe or belittling of blonde characters, which either makes them pitifully weak or fantastically assertive.)
Ayanami / Verloren
Some people like their antagonists to be purely evil, with no redemption. From the beginning, ‘Aya-tan’s’ entourage and his own behaviour hint there is more to him. I love how he has been made, he is cruel, unmerciful, a total bitch, and protective of his personal underlings.
In the ‘brainwash’ manga arc, Ayanami shows a tenderness to Teito, even though he’s slowly killing him. This makes the mad reincarnation of the evil death god kind of endearing. I hope he doesn’t die in the end.
Mikage pre rebirth – a lovely human, and if you really like him, he lives longer in the anime.
Mikage post rebirth – a freaking dragon. I feel kind of mean saying I prefer the manga just because Mikage dies quicker and you get the adorable pink fyulong, Teito will just have to get over his devastating grief.
Unless you have a good concentration level or are a self confessed manga addict, you may find 07-Ghost tough going in the beginning. Watching the anime first will give you a good step up into the 07 Ghost universe, but any who really appreciate manga would enjoy both no matter where you start. This conclusion presents no choice to you, you need both 07 Ghost anime and manga you life, not one, not even none. You just need both. It’s got freaking angels and dragons in it.