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Black Torch, Vol. 1

(Black Torch #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  588 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Ninja and animal lover Jiro Azumas life is changed forever when he finds himself in the middle of a war with ninjas vs. demons.

Jiro Azuma is descended from of a long line of shinobi, and he also can talk to animals. One day, he rescues a very unique black cat named Rago, a supernatural being, and is dragged into a secret supernatural war.

Although he may appear
Paperback, 200 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by VIZ Media LLC (first published April 4th 2017)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  588 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Dan Schwent
When Jiro bonds with a mononoke named Rago, he is thrust into a world of demons and ninja! And what does the Bureau of Espionage want with him?

While I was flirting with manga last year, Black Torch kept popping up in my recommendations. A boy raised as a ninja, bonded with a cat demon? It sounded fairly interesting.

Black Torch is full of action. Jiro takes on demons and shady government operatives alike before joining the Bureau of Espionage as part of a new team, Black Torch. It was
Elizabeth (Elzburg)

To sum up this series: Its a mediocre story that weve already seen hundreds of times before, but its saving grace is its extremely appealing art style. The ONLY reason I didnt drop this series after the first chapter or two was because the art kept pulling me back. Its just so so so nice to look at Also the main character is really hot, okay?!

The story is the regular: Teenager whos part of a fancy-pants family whos had a bit of fighting training suddenly gets caught up in some goofs and realizes
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more manga and graphic novel reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Although he may appear rough-and-tumble, Jiro Azumas compassionate side emerges when it comes to the furry critters he can communicate with. But Jiro's soft spot for animals gets him in major trouble when a suspicious stray cat, named Rago, fuses with him, granting him exceptional power but also dragging him into humanity's hidden battle against powerful Japanese spirits, mononoke. Descended from of a long line of
Megan Agee
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this style and the artwork is incredible! Ill definitely get the next volume. 🖤 ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, manga
I really enjoyed this!
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reminded me a lot of Bleach. Ninja, mononoke vs. humans, special abilities. A character with an inherent strong moral code. I wonder if he'll start naming his battle moves?
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
Alright, I'm going to be blunt: I will not be continuing with this series. But I want to be clear-it's not because this volume was bad. I can imagine a lot of manga readers will be drawn to this story, and honestly if it had been available maybe 10 years ago, I would too. However, I am following a lot of series right now and I have to pick and choose what I continue to read. As for praise, all I can say is that the artstyle is okay, the story is average but okay, and it can easily appeal to a ...more
Luke Reynolds
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Although Black Torch has the essence of a very standard shonen storyline, it definitely seems promising. I do know that it was cancelled after a year and a half due to allegedly poor sales, which is pretty sad, but I do see why. It has the rough-and-tumble edge of a lot of shonen series, with a very impulsive protagonist getting thrown into a world unlike their own and some pretty gritty violence. The pitch to me is very much Bleach with a little bit of Naruto
Adam Spanos
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: manga, viz
This is extremely derivative and akin to a number of existing series, most notably Blue Exorcist; the protagonist is even similar visually, has a similar salty-but-sweet attitude (even connecting with a cat), a gruff relationship with someone who is not their parent (and shares a connection with the organisation they will join) and so on. The only difference is that Blue Exorcist worked quickly to get you hooked and move things along; this feels rather slow - there's a surprisingly small number ...more
Megan ☾ Michaels
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love the concept of this. A main character who can communicate with animals is pretty cool to begin with, then adding ninjas and mononoke and special ops!? Super cool. The first volume was a great introduction to the series and gripping enough to make you want to read on after the end. The art style is a nice mix of simplistic, cool lines and cute almost shoujo-esque female characters. Haven't read much manga in a while but glad I finally picked this up!
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
The backgrounds were very realistically drawn. Beautiful artwork and a promising story, overall a nice start.
Yon Nyan (BiblioNyan)
This was a decent first volume. I love the action and the phenomenal minimalist artstyle, especially during the fight sequences. It's very neat and visually satisfying, while doing a great job of connecting the reader to the story that's unfolding. Also, sassy black cat who's a mononoke is quite possibly the greatest thing around.
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A ninja boy is possessed by a demon and therefore hunted by both humans and demons. Good solid shonen opening premise. Mostly it reminds me of Bleach so the story has a good chance of being another big seller.

The art work is a nice balance between gritty and simple. I especially like the character design. Notice when you first meet Gramps? Jiro made the exact same face when scolding Rago for leaving. A+ family resemblance.

This series has 5 volumes.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, comics
There's a lot going on here, but nothing that's really novel except in the way the different elements are combined. I can see the appeal, though, especially because the art is way better than average and the action is clear and engaging.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mango-comix, fantasy
Bit generic story-wise, seemingly taking a fair amount of Kubo influence, but the art is more Togashi, which is always welcome. I like the main girl's butt and thighs, and she seems like a somewhat-better-written character than e.g. Orihime, so that's a plus, too, I guess.

Jiro is the descendant of a ninja clan, seemingly no longer active in the modern era, but at the very least he has the ability to converse with animals. In his spare time, Jiro seems to defend animals from juvenile delinquents
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This opening volume of Black Torch should feel instantly familiar to fans of other manga such as Soul Eater, D. Gray Man, and (most conspicuously) Bleach. I could not help but draw a number of parallels between Bleach and Black Torch, both in terms of style and narrative choices. They share quite a few tropes and trappings (spirit familiars, supernatural paramilitary groups, demonic monsters that exist hidden amongst humanity), but the most obvious parallel is the characterization and narrative ...more
Black Torch is another entry in the demon-hunting genre. This time, it's about a modern-day ninja boy fused with a cat demon.

The main character, Jiro, is trained in ninja stuff and also can talk to animals. He helps a cat demon, Rago, and after being killed by another demon, Rago saves him by fusing with Jiro. Jiro's then taken to join a super secret government agency of demon-hunting ninja.

For a demon hunting manga, though, the best fight so far has been the one between Jiro and his
Alfredo Luna
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so much fun! It came across my desk by accident--I work at a library and someone mistakenly returned it to me even though it came from a /different/ library--and I was pulled in by the cover and title to read it.

Now I should say that while I read a bunch of manga growing up and still watch anime today, I don't read much NEW manga. I've read a few things here and there that were pretty ok, like Dr. Stone, but in general, much of the newer series haven't done it for me in print or on
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jiro Azuma is a 17-year-old wanna-be-ninja being trained by his grandfather to take up the ninja mantle. He can also talk to animals. He's super fast, reckless, strong, and he has a pure heart. When black cat Rago comes along emaciated and weak, Jiro saves him and nurses him back to health. Turns out, Rago isn't a typical cat; he's a mononoke, an "evil" spirit who should be concentrating on killing humans. Rago is attacked by a demon, and of course Jiro comes to his aid, only to be stabbed ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story appears like most others at first glance. And, it kind of is. A ninja-in-training, Jirou, can speak to animals and has always felt different from other people and that left him isolated. But, unlike Naruto or others like him, Jirou is okay because he really is a person that loves communicating with animals. Jirou, informed by a crow, learns of an injured animal in the woods and goes to help. Chaos ensues when the cat wakes up and informs Jirou he is not a normal cat, but actually a ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of ninja or supernatural manga
Recommended to Auroch by: Barnes & Noble
3.0/5 This manga did a good job of hooking me in the opening chapters with its amazing art (in the vein of classic shounen like Bleach), main characters I actually felt invested in, and especially the nods to ninja and the supernatural. The problem was that while the art was consistently great the plot wasn't. Despite their flashy designs, it felt like the minor characters were carbon copies of other ones I'd seen before and were done better in other series. Likewise, the storyline with the ...more
I wanted to love this one. I mean Jirou Azuma is a fascinating character. He's from a long line of shinobis and he can talk to animals. He's a nice guy too, standing up to bullies wherever he finds them even protecting strangers. It's this that gets him into trouble. He ends up in a fight with a mononoke (a spirit creature) and winds being bonded to Rago another mononoke.

This brings him to the attention of a secret government group, Bureau of Espionage, and part of the team wants him
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
What to do with Black Torch. Mixed feels, man, mixed feels. I love animals. Naturally Im inclined to like a character that has a soft spot for our fur balls, enter Jiro Azuma. Next, we have Mononoke which are, so far as I can tell, man-eating demons that are handled by an organization that has its roots in the oniwabanshu. Its an enticing mix. Nothing has sealed the deal for me as an official fan. Tentative

The art is good. It reminds me of the Marvel cinematic universe where visually
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I haven't read that much manga so I can't really relate to the "same ole same ole" perspective that a lot of reviews of this share. I found the protagonist to be really personable, with his ability to speak with animals giving him empathy, though tying that up with his ideas of what it means to be a good man. The art IS very nice. There are a refreshing lack of boob jokes (so far) but there are *sigh* tactical hot pants. Plus the main supporting female character is constantly irritated and ...more
This is enjoyable and has a lot of potential in my opinion. It did feel like it needed a little bit more though and like a clear beginning where the actual plot is barely scratched.
The character dynamics were fun and the characterization is well done, but the plot is only just scratched a little bit. There are only four more volumes and the actual plot has yet to start even though some stuff happened in this volume, it was more or less all personal to Jiro.
I'm curious how with this will be both
Weaving Fiction ( Sj )
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
This surprised me ! I snorted in a few places and really enjoyed some of the characters. Rago is honestly my favourite.

I liked
- Jiro and Rago
-the idea of Jiro talking to animals
-the mythology woven in

I disliked
-how convenient the story was
-how one character is pretty much a stereotype
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked up this book for my brother. It's a new manga series and it looked quite interesting. These books are so fast to read, even for a slow reader like me, that I grabbed it over Thanksgiving weekend and quickly read through. If you don't have much time to devote to reading, grab this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Manga always has a sense of "religion", which is what I studied and enjoy!
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This manga exemplifies everything I love in a good shonen title.

Angry, parentless protagonist who also has a soft heart? Check.

Cat companion? Check.

Ninjas? Check.

Hint of romance between main characters? Checcccccck.

I really adored this. Cant wait to read more. The art reminds me of Kubo (Bleach). I love it so much.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glad to find a new series to start. The characters were interesting and I really enjoyed the banter between Jiro and Rago. Plus the concept of ninja vs. Mononoke is new to me, so that's a big plus. Excited to see how it pans out. The only negative for me is the obvious bits of fan service that are distracting.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
I try to stay pretty neutral about Manga's until I've read at least the firs two in the series, and Black Torch is no different. So far it seems a bit cliche and honestly a tad boring but I know that can turn around pretty quickly and without warning. I'll do a full review of Vol 1 & 2 on the blog soon!
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