Kekkaishi (結界師, lit. "Barrier Master") is a supernatural manga series written and illustrated by Yellow Tanabe. It was serialized in Japan by Shogakukanin the manga magazine Shōnen Sunday from 2003 to 2011 , and licensed for an English-language 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 andTokine 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. 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 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. 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.
- SPOILER Alert***
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, because Tokimori remained outside the seal, the seal is imperfect and allows 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.
Kekkaishi was written and illustrated by Yellow Tanabe. It was serialized in Japan by Shogakukan in the shōnen (aimed at teenaged boys) manga magazine Shōnen Sunday in 345 chapters from 2003 issue 47 to 2011 issue 19. Serial chapters have been collected inたわごと33 tankōbon volumes as of February 2011, with a projected two more volumes to come. 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,, in Vietnam by Kim Dong. and in Brazil by Panini Comics.
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 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 onCartoon Network's block 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, GMA Network and on Hero's Competitor: Animax Asia (but Japanese Audio with English Subtitles), and in Indonesia on antv.
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