About the Mangaka
Touma Kei is a well known horror/Seinen mangaka in japan, and she is starting to gain popularity over here in the west as well. Largely thanks to the two manga that were licensed, Kurogane and Lament of the Lamb. Though personally I prefer the Japanese name, Hitsuji no Uta, just sounds so much better to me lol.
Her first manga Rokujô gekijô led to her wining the Shiki prize from Kodonasha, and the follow up, Mannequin also went on to win a prize. From then on her works have always been well received. All of her works however have been short, usually one or two volumes, only Yesterday wo Utatte and Kurogane are longer at five volumes a piece, and Lament of the Lamb at seven volumes.
About the Manga
Despite it being a short story I really love Luno, it has a softness to it that isn’t in the other stories Kei-sensei has done, probably because it’s only a single volume.
Like all of her works to date this one has a very unique and distinctive art style, and there are similarities between the charter designs of this and other works. When I first read any of Kei’s work I thought the art was odd, but now I like it, it’s distinctive and easily fits the stories she writes, as well as fitting the genre as a whole.
Sadly it does suffer from the same problem all short series has, it should of been longer. While Kei-sensei does an excellent job of conveying the story to it’s fullest in the single volume, I can’t help but feel it would have been even better if it had been allowed to spread it’s wings over even two volumes.
Certain aspects of the story are passed over that I feel should have had more time spent on them. Especially the relationship between our two leads.
However that aside, this is definitely one of the better single volumes out there. Since everything you need to know about the story is revealed. It is a fast paced story taking place over a very short period of time, a matter of a few days, or that was the impression I got.
Like the other works she’s done this has a very bitter sweet ending, that you both like, but at the same time feel sorry for.
Also like her previous works this has a mild horror aspect to it, in this case, dealing with the last survivors of an old nation who have the ability to return people from the dead.
While I love this series, I don’t think it’s as good as Lament of the Lamb. There was so much that Kei could have explored in this story, it’s so clear at times that there was more to be told that wasn’t, that it does leave you a little upset.
For example the relationship between Tete and Geeta, they go from strangers to best buds instantly. Sure as kids that’s possible, but I wish that there had been more time spent on developing the relationship. Then of course there’s Malt and Algos, that’s another relationship which is revealed as being really deep at the end, but it’s just dumped on us. Again some time spent on developing this, since it’s revealed as an important relationship.
Then of course there’s the watch that the story centres around, it would of been nice for this to have been developed again. Tete is also an interesting character, it’s hinted that he has some sort of power, but again it’s just dropped right after being hinted at. If she’d been able to go over two volumes this would have been able to develop a lot more.
I’d love to see this one released in the west, and to be honest I’m really surprised that it hasn’t been picked up by Tokyopop yet, since they have two of her other series. I hope that someone brings it over, because I feel it could be a great seller.