|Chapter 001: Yoshimori and Tokine|
|Rōmaji||Yoshimori to Tokine|
|English||Yoshimori and Tokine|
|Release Date||February 18, 2004|
|Episode||Episode 1: Scars|
|Cover Characters||Tokine Yukimura ; Yoshimori Sumimura ; Madarao ; Hakubi|
Yoshimori and Tokine ( 良守と時音 "Yoshimori to Tokine" ) is the first chapter of the Kekkaishi Manga written and illustrated by Yellow Tanabe
The story begins with a legend: long ago, a minor lord possessed a mysterious power that summoned Ayakashi to his castle. The inhabitants hired a demon exterminator to cleanse the castle and protect the lord. This is how the duty of the Kekkaishi began. Fast-forward a few centuries: young Yoshimori Sumimura, a modern-day Kekkaishi, carries on this tradition, protecting the Karasumori site nightly with his demon-dog companion, Madarao. Though a little rough around the edges in the use of his Kekkaishi abilities, Yoshimori still has incredible power and great potential.
Yoshimori trains under his grandfather Shigemori, 21st head of the Sumimura Clan. As the clan's next Legitimate Successor, it is Yoshimori's duty to assume his grandfather's role as clan head one day, and become the sole protector of Karasumori. In Shigemori's opinion, Yoshimori's skills are lacking because he spends too much time with their neighbor Tokine Yukimura, a slightly older girl that belongs to the rival Yukimura Family. It's apparent, though, that Yoshimori himself doesn't actually want to be a Kekkaishi: he was chosen as the Legitimate Successor because of the Houin, a mysterious mark that appears on the palms of the chosen Sumimura heirs as proof of their bond with the land.
Yoshimori slips outside to get away from his grandfather, and so no one will see his tears of frustration. However, Tokine spots him from a tree overlooking their yards, and teases him for crying. Unlike Yoshimori, she has pride in her duty as a Kekkaishi and doesn't find it troubling. They are soon interrupted by Tokine's grandmother Tokiko, who, like Shigemori, is the 21st head of their family, and who also forbids them from being around each other. After 400 years, their families are still feuding over who is the rightful heir of Tokimori Hazama, the first kekkaishi and founder of the Hazama-Ryu Kekkaijutsu, the basic abilities which all Kekkaishi use. In the Yukimura family, heirs develop the Houin Mark on their left breast, slightly above the heart. Shigemori and Tokiko get into a fight (which is a daily occurrence for them, having been rivals most their lives).
At dinner, Yoshimori and Shigemori are joined by Shuji, Yoshimori's father who married into the family, and Toshimori, Yoshimori's little brother. Shuji prepares snacks for Yoshimori's nightly duties, but Shigemori thinks he is spoiling the boy. Shigemori says that Yoshimori's failure to surpass Tokine is because he keeps slacking off, but Yoshimori blames his grandfather's teaching instead. According to the legend of Karasumori, Tokimori Hazama served under the Karasumori Clan head, destroying the countless Ayakashi that plagued the castle. But he grew ill from being overworked, and had to rest for three days. When he returned on the following day, the castle had been overrun by Ayakashi, and the clan was dead. However, the lord's mysterious power had amassed over time, and remained even after the clan was gone. Ayakashi are still attracted to this power, and if they remain in the area long enough, it can transform them into stronger, more dangerous forms. The former castle site has been replaced with Karasumori Academy, the combined middle and high school that both Yoshimori and Tokine attend.
Yoshimori heads to the school that night, finding Tokine and her demon-dog Hakubi already there. Yoshimori begins complaining about the job, and Tokine tells him that if he won't take the job seriously, it's better if he just goes home. Yoshimori walks off, recalling that Tokine used to be much kinder before they started training: she often saved him from minor daily perils, such as falling into a stream and comforting him when he cried.
Suddenly, an Ayakashi arrives in the area. Madarao tracks it to a tree, and Yoshimori surrounds the tree with a Kekkai. The target is revealed to be a small, wounded girl, who says she came to the site to heal, otherwise other Ayakashi would devour her. Yoshimori hesitates, which allows her to transform into the larger, stronger bug form, Yumigane. Yumigane attacks, but Tokine appears and defends Yoshimori, her arm getting badly wounded in the process. Tokine destroys Yumigane and yells at Yoshimori for not doing his job, then promptly collapses. Yoshimori carries Tokine to her home, where her grandmother takes her, but refuses to let Yoshimori in. Yoshimori stands outside the house the next day until Tokiko tells him to go away again. Shuji later hears from Tokine's mother Shizue (despite the feud, they are on good terms) that Tokine has a fever, and that she had a bad response to the Ayakashi's poison, but will likely get better soon. Yoshimori feels horrible and blames himself.
Five years later, Yoshimori is 14 and still protecting Karasumori at night. Tokine is 16, and still gets a kick out of teasing him and criticizing his Kekkai, which tend to be way too big for his targets. After examining his catch (which is tiny), she decides to leave the cleanup to him. As she leaves, Yoshimori sees the scars on her right arm, and is reminded of his promise to himself: he will become strong, and never allow anyone (Tokine especially) to get hurt because of Karasumori.
Characters (in order of appearance)
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