Many thanks to Yen Press for providing a review copy
UPDATE: I have just heard from Kurt over at Yen Press confirming that this is NOT a single volume series and does in fact have other volumes (*shoots ANN and Wikipedia*). At the time of licensing the series originally, only one volume was available, as such one was all that was licensed. Yen Press are currently acquiring the subsequent volumes and hope to have the next one out later this year.
As such I’ll be making some alterations to my review later on. -TD
About the Mangaka
No info available on Ishida Akira, this seems to be his only work. He is not to be confused with the prolific VA of the same name.
About the Manga
What can I say, both an amazing volume, but also a terrible one. It suffers from the bane of all single volume series.
Please note this post does contain some spoilers
Art wise it’s nothing special, Ishida is a decent artist but it doesn’t have anything to make it really stand out. In truth while reading it the art style at times reminded me of both Kaze no Hana and Higurashi. That’s not to say it’s bad, because it isn’t, and I did enjoy the art.
The story is where this series would have excelled, as the story has some unique elements in this generic good versus evil story.
Ishida’s writing style is great, he manages to keep the reader wondering about the characters and organisations involved. Which is essential to keeping readers interested and hooked.
I loved the characters from the start, they were rather well developed and had strong personalities. However I did find Tomoaka’s personality to be way over the top. Sure she’s meant to be a bit of a zealot, but I found her personality was more forced than anything.
The element I found myself loving was Nanami. As the story unfolds it’s revealed she has two very powerful demons in her family tree, both female. What’s more she’s the first female child born in the family for over 600 years. If that’s not creepy enough, she seems to have inherited the two demons powers. But that’s not all, I also got the impression that there was more, that she also had the personalities and consciousness of these two demons inside her.
Then there’s the whole thing about if she’s demonic, why the hunters can’t sense any taint from her.
I loved this volume and was devastated to find it only had the single volume. Ishida does a great job of setting up a interesting and intriguing story, but never comes back to finish it. I find this strange since it was popular enough in Japan to have three print runs.
I can only hop that at some point Ishida returns and finishes the series, he’ll have a buyer in me 😀
I was surprised Yen would pick up a series like this, a single open ended volume. However as usual they did an excellent job with it. The colour pages are awesome, a nice heavy paper that still beats the quality of other publishers. This is the first time I’ve heard of Kaori Inoue, but she does a good job on the translation. All titles and honorific’s are kept intact (YAY!!), and more importantly it flows smoothly and consistently.
If this series was on going I definitely think it would go on my Essential Read list, however as it is I can’t add it it. To me, no matter how good it was to read, it’s incompleteness holds it back badly.
Where to Buy
This volume is scheduled for release on the 21st April 2009