|The Enchained Spiritual Beast Ga-Rei|
Cover of the first Japanese volume, featuring protagonist Kagura Tsuchimiya
|Genre||Action, Comedy-Drama, Romance, Supernatural|
|Written by||Hajime Segawa|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Original run||October 26, 2005 – January 26, 2010|
|Ga-rei: Tsuina no Shō|
|Written by||Hajime Segawa|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Original run||2008 – 2009|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Ei Aoki|
|Produced by||Atsushi Itō|
|Written by||Katsuhiko Takayama|
|Music by||Noriyasu Agematsu|
|Studio||AIC Spirits & Asread|
|Original network||CTC, TV Saitama, tvk, KBS, Sun TV, TVQ, Tokyo MX, TV Aichi, TVh, AT-X|
|Original run||October 5, 2008 – December 21, 2008|
The Enchained Spiritual Beast Ga-Rei (喰霊 Ga-rei), also simply known as Ga-Rei or Ga-rei, is a supernatural action manga by Hajime Segawa (瀬川 はじめ Segawa Hajime). It has been serialized by Kadokawa Shoten in the magazine Monthly Shōnen Ace and collected in twelve tankōbon volumes. The English version was then released digitally on BookWalker on October 29, 2014. A prequel anime series, Ga-Rei: Zero, aired from October 5, 2008 to December 21, 2008, which details the backstory of key characters Kagura and Yomi.
Kensuke Nimura is just your average high school student—except for the fact that he can see spirits. This ability generally hinders him more than it helps him, especially in trying to get a girlfriend. However, everything changes one day when he encounters Kagura Tsuchimiya while being pursued by evil spirits. They accidentally kiss and manage to destroy the source of energy that is drawing the evil spirits. A few days later, Kagura transfers into Kensuke's class, much to his surprise. Kagura is an agent of a government agency that secretly defends the public from supernatural enemies. She wields a Ga-rei, a "spirit devourer," named Byakuei that she uses to fight. Kensuke's spiritual awareness and his attraction to Kagura compels him to follow her to the agency, where he is recruited to fight the supernatural.
Their first enemy is Yomi Isayama, Kagura's former best friend, now an evil spirit due to a stone known as a sesshouseki embedded in her forehead. Also introduced is another old friend, the perverted Izuna Noriyuki. Yomi tries to release an ancient immortal demon sealed under Tokyo. The Agency manage to stop her after a long battle, resealing the demon and putting Yomi to rest in the process. A mysterious boy removes her sesshouseki and disappears.
The next story arc concerns the re-emergence of the Juugondō organization and its heir, Shizuru Imawano. She encounters and alternatively threatens and flirts with Kensuke, angering Kagura. Soon, a contest begins between her and Kagura as to who can collect more sesshōseki, with Kensuke—and the Kyūbi-kitsune (or nine-tailed fox)—as the prize. The pressure is building as Kagura starts losing control of Byakuei and the Juugondō arrive in full force. Shockingly, Shizuru's long-lost sister Setsuna arrives, kills her father and takes over the Juugondō. She attacks and demolishes the Agency and the government try to distance themselves from the Agency for fear of revealing secrets to the public.
Kagura, Kensuke, Kyouko and Iwahata survive and meet Izuna and Shizuru at an agency hideout. After resting, the group faces off against Setsuna inside Tamamo-no-Mae's garden, with Kagura as the winner. However, Kensuke was gravely injured in the battle, leading Kagura to use the power of the sesshōseki to save his life. As a result, she loses control and becomes the core of the newly created Kyūbi, destroying the center of Tokyo. Kensuke manages to reach the Kyūbi, using his new Michael Revolution sword to free Kagura.
Due to her brief time as the Kyūbi's core, Kagura has suffered amnesia, much to everyone's shock. She and Kensuke resume their daily lives at school, but start investigating ghosts alongside Kensuke, Tanaka, and Izumi, a new student who bears a resemblance to Yomi. Investigations lead the group closer to Naraku, the area in Tokyo destroyed by the Kyūbi and now filled with spirits. Kensuke later meets Mikado and Tsuina from the Agency. A few days later, Kensuke and Izumi are attacked by Kirin, a black wolflike monster from Naraku, who cuts Kensuke's right eye. Izumi is later revealed to be Yomi, who has dissociative identity disorder, alternating between Yomi and Izumi. When the revived Agency imprisons Izumi with the intention of exorcising Yomi, which will likely kill Izumi as well, Kagura breaks her free and the two go on the run. Kagura resolves to defend Yomi, disregarding others' opinions. Fending evil spirits and eventually the escorts of the Black Priestess—Yomi—they are cornered on a snow-covered cliff. There, Kensuke and Tsuina arrive to save them, leading to Kagura completely regaining her memories. The ensuing ruckus causes the cliff to collapse, causing them to fall near Micheal Kohara's residence, where Izuna and Shizune find them unconscious.
After recovering, Kensuke and the others learn of Earth's impending destruction at the Black Priestess's (Yomi) hands and the White Priestess's (Kagura) potential to stop it. While everyone recuperates from resulting disbelief, government agents arrive to efface them: Izuna sacrifices himself for Yomi, relieving his guilt at allowing her previous deaths. She retreats with her retainers, mired in sorrow and her miasma, despite Kagura's pleas. After resurrecting Izuna with an escort's soul, Yomi arrives at Tokyo's Naraku, releasing all her miasma and disrupting the Reimyaku. Consequently, this gives rise to Immortals and Narakus worldwide. Kagura, Micheal, Kensuke, Tsuina and Shizuru search for Yomi. Following clashes with the Tengu, Okama and a revived Kyūbi, they encounter Yomi and Izuna, now a corrupted soul like herself. During the battle the Black Priestess's Black Kirin (opposing the White Priestess's Byakuei, together they are yin & yang) breaks Byakuei's chains thus tearing apart both Byakuei and Kagura's souls. To save Kagura, Yomi melds with Kagura's soul after comprehending Kagura's devotion to her, as Byakuei dies. Izuna subsequently vanishes. Two years later, after the miasma clears and society rebuilds itself, Yomi, Kyouko, Kensuke, Kagura, and Izuna, a free-floating ghost, continue exorcism duties and live together, per Kensuke's suggestion. Mikado finally proposes to Tsuina.
Ga-Rei was published by Kadokawa Shoten in the shōnen magazine Shōnen Ace and was collected in twelve tankōbon volumes. In addition, a single volume side-story manga titled Ga-rei: Tsuina no Shō was also published by Kadokawa Shoten in the shōnen magazine Shōnen Ace. In Europe, the series was licensed by Pika Édition for France, by Planet Manga for Italy and by Tokyopop for Germany. Kadokawa Shoten has then made the digital English version of the Manga available on BookWalker.
Ga-Rei: Zero is directed by Ei Aoki and animated by AIC Spirits and asread. The show is aired on AT-X, Chiba TV, KBS Kyoto, Sun TV, Tokyo MX TV, TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Kanagawa, TV Saitama and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co., Ltd.
The adaptation was announced on the promotional sleeve wrapper of Ga-rei's sixth volume regarding the green lighting of the show. A Ga-Rei: Zero television ad was soon aired to promote the show's upcoming release, followed by 30 second commercials that were on the Ga-Rei: Zero websites. Originally, it was announced that the anime would be an original story, suggesting that it had nothing to do with the manga except its setting: however, when the first episode aired, viewers were confused when the entire main cast was suddenly killed off. It was only later revealed in the second episode and still later in a radio interview with cast members Minoru Shiraishi, Kaoru Mizuhara & Minori Chihara, that the anime in fact tells the backstories of Yomi and Kagura before the events of the manga, thus making Ga-Rei: Zero a prequel to the original Ga-Rei series.
Funimation Entertainment announced Ga-Rei: Zero's English license in August 2010 and released the series on Blu-ray and DVD in 2011. Funimation will stream the subtitled episodes on their video portal and YouTube channel.
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