Kekkaishi (結界師?, lit. "Barrier Master") is an ongoing supernatural manga series by Yellow Tanabe. It is serialized in Japan by Shogakukan in the manga magazine Shōnen Sunday, and licensed for an English release in North America by Viz Media. It was adapted as a fifty-two episode anime series by Sunrise, which was broadcast between October 2006 and February 2008. The series is about Yoshimori Sumimura and Tokine Yukimura, heirs to rival clans of kekkai (barrier magic) users, who must defend their school from the spirits drawn to the sacred land upon which it is built. Kekkaishi received the 2007 Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen manga.
According to the legend, five hundred years ago, there was an insignificant lord who possessed a mysterious power; this power draws ayakashi (supernatural creatures) to him. A demon exterminator, Tokimori Hazama, was called upon to protect the lord and the castle. The lord's power stays on the land even when he had died. Thus, Tokimori founded the Hazama clan, who inherits his techniques, to protect the land for centuries to come. This land is Karasumori.
In the present day, Yoshimori Sumimura and Tokine Yukimura, heirs of the Hazama clan, are the kekkaishi that protect Karasumori. They are ability users (people who can use supernatural powers) who use a technique called Kekkai. Kekkai is a form of magical energy barrier which is primarily used to capture and destroy ayakashi that are drawn to this shinyuuchi (sacred land). Yoshimori has used an ingenious alternative to plain barriers by creating boxes of energy which can be use tactically as weapons or for making airborne stair steps. Any ayakashi that stay on the land become stronger. Yoshimori and Tokine are to guard the land from the intrusion of ayakashi who intend 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 Urakai. Urakai itself is an organization of ability users that is governed by a council of twelve, consisting of high level ability users.
Later, it's revealed little by little that the legend is full of lies. The real cause of the ayakashi power up is Chuusinmaru, an illegitimate son of the Hazama clan's founder, Tokimori Hazama, with the Karasumori clan's heiress who was named Tsukikage. Tokimori used forbidden arts to grant his son unearthly power, hoping that his son would grow into a great man who could conquer the world. However, the plan backfired, as Chuusinmaru was granted a power to draw people's life force, killing everybody. Tokimori has no choice but to seal his own son, who has become a too powerful and dangerous existence, in the Karasumori land, but the seal isn't perfect, as Chuusinmaru's power still leaks out, powering up ayakashi who stay at the land.
Kekkaishi is written and drawn by Yellow Tanabe. It has been serialized in Japan by Shogakukan in the shōnen (aimed at teenaged boys) manga magazine Shōnen Sunday since 2003 issue 47, with publication on-going. Serial chapters have been collected in 29 tankōbon volumes as of June 2010[update]. The series is licensed in English in North America by Viz Media. 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 Planet Manga, in Malaysia by PCM Comics, in South Korea by Bookbox, in Spain by Editorial Ivrea, in Taiwan by Tong Li Comics, and in Vietnam by Kim Dong.
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-?, "Sha La La (Mysterious 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), "Sekaijū Doko o Sagashite mo" (世界中どこを探しても?, "Looking for Another World") by Aiko Kitahara (episodes 16–23, 39, 44), "My Mirai" (マイミライ Mai Mirai?) "My Future" by Saeka Uura (episodes 24–30, 41), and "Kyūkei Jikan Jūpun" (休憩時間10分?, "10 Minute Break") by Saeka Uura (episodes 31–37, 42–43, 45). The series was broadcast for 52 episodes in Japan between 16 October 2006 and 12 February 2008 on Nippon Television, Yomiuri TV, and Nippon Television Network System, in the "golden" timeslot of 7 p.m. Monday.
The anime has been 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 Adult Swim. It has also been broadcast in Taiwan on TTV and Videoland Television Network, in Malaysia on 8TV (Cantonese dubbing with Malay subtitles) and NTV7 (Malay dubbing), in Hong Kong on Cable TV, in the Philippines on Hero and GMA-7, and in Indonesia on antv.
Script error In 2007, Kekkaishi received the Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen manga. The series is among the best-selling manga in Japan.Volumes 19, 20, and 21 all reached number 3 or 4 on the Tohan best-seller list.
- Shōnen Sunday official manga website (Japanese)
- Viz Media official manga site
- Sunrise official anime website (Japanese)
- Yomiuri TV official anime site (Japanese)
- Viz Media official anime site
- Kekkaishi Episodes, Downloads and More from Adult Swim
- Namco Bandai official DS game site (Japanese)
- Kekkaishi (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Kekkaishi (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia