|Written by||Yellow Tanabe|
|Imprint||Shōnen Sunday Comics|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||November 5, 2003 – April 6, 2011|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kenji Kodama|
|Written by||Hiroshi Ōnogi|
|Music by||Taku Iwasaki|
|Original network||NNS (ytv)|
|Original run||October 16, 2006 – February 11, 2008|
Kekkaishi (結界師, lit. "Barrier Master") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yellow Tanabe. The series is about Yoshimori Sumimura and Tokine Yukimura, heirs to rival families of kekkai (barrier magic) users, who must defend their school from the spirits drawn to the sacred land upon which it is built. It was serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday from November 2003 to April 2011, with its chapters collected in thirty-five tankōbon volumes.
It was adapted as a fifty-two episode anime television series by Sunrise, which was broadcast between October 2006 and February 2008.
Both manga and anime series has been licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media. The anime series was broadcast on Adult Swim from May 2010 to May 2011.
The Kekkaishi manga had over 17 million copies in circulation as of June 2020. In 2007, the manga won the 52nd Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen manga category.
According to the legend, five hundred years ago, there was an insignificant lord who possessed a mysterious power that drew ayakashi (妖) (supernatural creatures) to him. A demon exterminator, Tokimori Hazama, was called upon to protect the lord and his castle. The lord's power stayed on the land even when he had died. Thus, Tokimori founded the Hazama clan, who inherited his techniques, to protect the land for centuries to come. This land is Karasumori (烏森).
In the present day, Yoshimori Sumimura and Tokine Yukimura, heirs of the Hazama clan, are the kekkaishi (結界師) that protect Karasumori (which is located on the grounds of the school they attend). They are ability users (people who can use supernatural powers) who use a technique called Kekkai (結界). Kekkai is a form of magical energy barrier which is primarily used to capture and destroy ayakashi that are drawn to this shin'yūchi (神佑地, "sacred land"). Any ayakashi that stay on the land become stronger. Yoshimori and Tokine are to guard the land from the intrusion of ayakashi who try to "power-up" there.
Yoshimori and Tokine suffered a lot of hardships in their responsibilities to protect Karasumori. The ayakashi they must fight are becoming more and more powerful, but they managed to protect the land with the help from Yoshimori's older brother, Masamori Sumimura, and the Urakai (裏会, "Shadow Organization"). The Shadow Organization itself is an organization of ability users that is governed by a council of twelve, consisting of high level ability users. All the members are not the main inheritors of their clans lands or titles, or are loners who have no place to go, and thus have become a force that controls the course of their country.
Many ayakashi try to become more powerful by using Karusumori’s power, including Kokuboro (a group of ayakashi attempting to restore their leaders power), corrupt members of Urakai’s council of twelve who either were in league with Kokuboro or trying to kill another council member. Eventually a civil war begins between the leader and founder of Urakai, the leader (a powerful psychic who became a puppet of the founder) and the founder (another powerful psychic who alone with his power create Urakai, an army/intelligence agency at his disposal) who have become disembodied creatures who can possess others to act as their bodies to fool the other members into thinking the leadership of Urakai has changed hands.
Over the course of the story it is revealed little by little that the legend is full of lies. The real source of Karasumori's power is Chūshinmaru (宙心丸), an illegitimate son of the Hazama clan's founder, Tokimori Hazama, and the Karasumori clan's heiress. Tokimori used forbidden arts to try to give his son unearthly power, but the plan backfired, and instead gave Chūshinmaru the power to draw people's life force, killing everybody around him. Tokimori was forced to seal his own son beneath Karasumori. However, being alone with no aid Tokimori was unable to completely seal off the Shinkai he created, which allowed Chūshinmaru's power to leak out, and it is this that draws ayakashi to the land.
In the end, with the help of Yoshimori's mother and Tokimori, Yoshimori and Tokine find a new site for Chūshinmaru by displacing the founder of the Urakai from the domain of a land-god that the founder had taken over. To seal Chūshinmaru, Yoshimori's mother sacrifices herself by sealing the domain with herself inside. The series end with Urakai finally becoming better for all and the two families duties are finally finished ending their personal rivalry, with Yoshimori finally feeling everything was right with the world.
Yellow Tanabe says that she uses reference books with pictures as inspiration for designs of ayakashi. She used her own images of the appearances of kanji characters of special terms and placed the terms in a system in order to create the special powers of the Kekkaishi and the terms of magic in the series. In regards to what inspired her to create the Shadow Organization, she said "I'm not really sure. I just sort of thought that's the way organizations are."
Kekkaishi is written and illustrated by Yellow Tanabe. Tanabe wrote a prototype of the series months before its serialization, which would be posted online in 2009.Kekkaishi was serialized in Shogakukan Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from November 5, 2003 to April 6, 2011, finishing with 345 chapters. Shogakukan collected its chapters in thirty-five tankōbon volumes, released from February 18, 2004 to August 18, 2011. Shogakukan re-released the series in a 18-volume kanzenban edition, published from June 18, 2020 to February 18, 2021.
The series is licensed for English release in North America by Viz Media.Viz Media released the 35 volumes of Kekkaishi from May 3, 2005 to December 11, 2012.
It is also licensed in France by Pika Édition,in Germany by Carlsen Comics, in Hong Kong by Rightman Publishing Limited, in Indonesia by Elex Media Komputindo which serializes it in Shōnen Star , in Italy by Panini Comics, in Malaysia by PCM Comics, in South Korea by Bookbox, in Spain by Editorial Ivrea, in Taiwan by Tong Li Comics, in Vietnam by Kim Dong and in Brazil by Panini Comics.
A guidebook to the series, titled Kekkaishi: A Teacher's Guidance (結界師 指南之書, Kekkaishi Shinan no Sho), was published by Shogakukan under the Shōnen Sunday Comics Special imprint on December 16, 2006.
Kekkaishi was adapted by Sunrise as an anime television series directed by Kenji Kodama with character designs by Hirotoshi Takaya and music by Taku Iwasaki. The opening theme for all episodes is "Sha la la -Ayakashi NIGHT-" (Sha la la -アヤカシNIGHT-) by Saeka Uura. There are four different ending themes: "Akai Ito" (赤い糸, "Red Thread") by Koshi Inaba (episodes 1–15, 38, 40, 48, 52), "Sekaijuu Dokowo Sagashitemo" (世界中どこを探しても, Sekaijū Doko o Sagashite mo, "Looking for Another World") by Aiko Kitahara (episodes 16–23, 39, 44, 51), "My Mirai" (マイミライ, Mai Mirai, "My Future") by Uura (episodes 24–30, 41, 46, 49), and "Kyukei Jikan 10pun" (休憩時間10分, Kyūkei Jikan Jippun, "10 Minute Break") by Uura (episodes 31–37, 42–43, 45, 47, 50). The series was broadcast for 52 episodes in Japan between October 16, 2006 and February 12, 2008 on Nippon TV, Yomiuri TV, and other Nippon Television Network System stations.
The anime was licensed in North America by Viz Media.which began broadcasting episodes online through Hulu.com in January 2010. The series premiered on TV on May 29, 2010 on Cartoon Network's block Adult Swim. Discotek Media re-licensed the series after Viz Media lost the rights. It was only confirmed for streaming, but a home video release was hinted at a later date. Crunchyroll added the series to its catalog in May 2021.
Namco Bandai released three "action based" games for the Nintendo Wii and DS, Kekkaishi Karasumori Ayakashi Kidan (結界師 烏森妖奇談) on May 24, 2007 and Kekkaishi Kokuboro Shurai (結界師 黒芒楼襲来) on March 20, 2008. A Wii game (結界師 黒芒楼の影, Kekkaishi Kokuboro no Kage) Kekkaishi: Shadow of the Kokuboro was released on September 27, 2007 in Japan.
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The manga had over 15 million copies in circulation as of April 2011.The manga had 17 million copies in circulation as of June 2020. Volumes 19, 20, and 21 all reached number 3 or 4 on the Tohan best-seller list.
In 2007, Kekkaishi received the Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen manga.The English edition of Kekkaishi was named by the Young Adult Library Services Association as among the best graphic novels for teens for 2007.
During its initial broadcast, episodes of the anime series were frequently among the top ten rated anime television shows, sometimes as the only original (non-sequel) show to do so.
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Kekkaishi continues to shine as the only (relatively) new, non-sequel series on the list.
[T]he only "new" series is Fall 2006's Kekkaishi from the pages of Weekly Shōnen Sunday.
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