Foreign Friday: Buso Renkin

This week’s Foreign Friday title is Buso Renkin by Nobuhiro Watsuki.

The Story

Kazuki Mutou is mortally wounded saving a girl from a strange monster, but is given a new life through the power of the alchemically-made Core Iron. Along with a second chance, this grants him the ability to use his own Busou Renkin, or Alchemy Weapon. Joining forces with Tokiko, the Busou Renkin user he’d saved earlier and who gave him the Core Iron, he uses his newfound powers to fight the malevolent Homunculus monsters and protect his friends and the rest of mankind.

The Characters

Kazuki is young, naive, foolish, brave and strong. Your typical high school hero who gets mixed up in things left well along. Tokiko is the perfect partner; cool, logical, smart, and in the know. Together with some allies and some truly…interesting enemies, such as the narcissistic butterfly-obsessed Papillon, they make for an entertaining cast.

What I Thought

Buso Renkin is a classic action shonen series. While the plot does touch on some serious topics from time to time, it mostly runs on comedy and the necessary fights scenes. After all, what’s a good shonen manga without some fight scenes? Watsuki, whose other works include Rurouni Kenshin, is creative with his action and his character weaponry. The plot is entertaining, if a bit standard, making the characters the main draw of the series. Also, if you are looking for alchemy used in a totally different way than Fullmetal Alchemist, then this is a good place to look, although there admittedly isn’t much to the alchemy besides the buso renkins and the creation of homunculus. The complete series is 10 volumes long, all available in English in the U.S.

There is also an anime adaptation to the manga, which followed the series. I found it to be enjoyable as well.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Justin
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 21:27:43

    I think Buso Renkin was an underrated series to be honest. Obviously, Rurouni Kenshin by Watsuki gets a lot of the praise and deservedly so, but this was definitely pretty good!


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