The beginning of a new week can only mean one thing: time for new Weekly Shonen Jump! This is where Jacob investigates the latest and greatest in the magazine, telling you what’s worth your time and what’s not. You can find coverage of other series under the tag Jump Time. Here’s Ayakashi Triangle chapter 31.
Ayakashi Triangle continues to be surprising, but in various different ways. First, I was surprised to see that, beyond the ecchi exterior, Kentaro Yabuki’s writing was actually worthy of praise, and then I realized that the whole gender bender gimmick was actually a metaphor for being in the closet. Yeah. This time, however, Ayakashi Triangle chapter 31 is a little different: it has me fully on board with a character that I previously didn’t like.
The fact that I began to read the last chapter that I reviewed, chapter 28, with the thought ‘Hang on a minute, who’s Garaku?’ should clue you in to where I was at previously with regard to this character. Although he’s actually been around for a while (chapter 12, to be precise) he’s never really had a moment to shine or demonstrate what makes him tick. Ayakashi Triangle chapter 31 changes all that.
This chapter is actually the culmination of a two-part story whereby Garaku lures Suzu, the new King of the Ayakashi, to the domain of Chirizuka Kaiou, the ‘Ghost King of Dust’ and the ‘King of Tsukumogami’ that has the power of decay. There are a lot of obscure Japanese folklore terms in there, admittedly, but what’s important is that, for a moment, both we, the audience, and the characters were convinced that Garaku was actually a traitor.
Nevertheless, in Ayakashi Triangle chapter 31, he reveals his back story and the motives behind his actions. Apparently, he was once a servant of Chirizuka Kaiou, a lowly tsukumogami or ‘tool spirit.’ Yet, in the time that his master has been sealed away (we’ll get onto that in a minute), he’s used the modern world to his advantage, cultivating fame as a wandering artist and thus growing his power. This wonderfully underscores the series’ mediation on how the nature of ayakashi and traditional folklore has changed in the modern day, which is also a source of constant worry for Shirogane.
Furthermore, Ayakashi Triangle chapter 31 finally provides some answers on the intriguing insinuations offered at the end of chapter 28: namely, that Suzu has some sort of alternate personality. As it turns out, Suzu is actually the ‘reincarnation’ of an ayakashi medium that Garaku once knew 150 years ago, which may or may not be the mysterious figure that Suzu saw back then. It also turns out that Garaku was in love with said reincarnation, which might provide some competition for Matsuri.
In any case, Ayakashi Triangle is good. How many times do I have to say it?
Go and read it for free via VIZ Media.