Cerberus is a shounen manga that’s been around for a while. Written by Takumi Fukui, it first graced the pages of manga in 2010. This series continued its run until 2011, offering readers an action-packed journey through its pages. Just shy of 4,800 members on MAL, the manga isn’t what anyone would define as ‘popular’. In this review of Cerberus, we will talk about the good, the bad, and everything in between.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Kei’s not exactly the toughest kid on the block, often finding himself on the losing end of fights. But one day, while he and his childhood friend Tomoe are just trying to deliver some textbooks to an old school building, a monstrous surprise attack changes everything. To protect Tomoe, Kei decides to take on the role of a Grave Protector.
The manga is the kind of manga you’d call your typical fantasy shonen. It’s not groundbreaking but it’s definitely a good, fun read for the fans of the genres. So, if you’re in the mood for something that’s easy to get into and enjoy, this one might just hit the spot.
Unfortunately, the story doesn’t offer anything new to the mix of the elements and tropes you are used to seeing in most shounen anime and manga. Everything included in this manga has been done before. That being said, even recycling the tested concepts can work if implemented correctly.
The art is pretty mediocre but falls in line with the standard shonen style. Kei’s “grave keeper” look is a cool touch, though.
The characters are what you’d expect from a shounen manga. Most characters stay within their stereotypes and don’t deviate from the norm.
Kei is your overpowered main character with a heart of gold, determined to protect everyone around him. He embodies that classic shonen trope, which is, well, typical. He may not be the strongest, but he makes up for it with an unwavering resolve to protect those around him. Regardless of the odds stacked against him, he faces challenges head-on, which is an admirable quality.
Yukifusa, the enigmatic hellhound in “Cerberus,” plays a pivotal role in the story. Notably, it is Yukifusa who transforms Kei into a Grave Keeper, changing his life completely.
One of Yukifusa’s unique attributes is its ability to assume a concealed form, often taking on the appearance of Kei’s school jacket, or more specifically, his gakuran. This mystical and versatile creature’s influence on Kei and their connection adds an intriguing layer to the plot and the dynamics between characters in the series.
But there’s more to it. The development between Yukifusa and Kei is interesting. At first, Yukifusa sees Kei as a tool to get his job done, but that evolves into a real and deep friendship. There’s a bit of backstory for Yukifusa too, giving us a glimpse into his past and how meeting Kei changes him from a bored and unhappy guardian.
There she is, the clueless childhood friend that Kei will protect at any cost. In her defense, Tomoe will also protect him when she can. Based on her blushing when confronted about her closeness to Kei, she is very probably in love with him.
As a hardcore shounen manga lover, you can probably have a good time with Cerberus. That is, if you love action sequences and the classic shonen vibe.
But I won’t lie just to make this series look better than it is. The reality is, if you’re not into shounen, you should give it a pass as there is nothing out of the ordinary in the story.