Sand Chronicles 1Posted: January 28, 2008
I had heard elsewhere that this was a fantastic series, and that I was totally missing out by not reading it in Shojo Beat. I couldn’t help but pick it up when I saw it in Chicago Comics, and I’m really glad I did.
It tells a really sincere, down-to-earth story in the same way Nana does. There’s nothing really spectacular or unusual about what’s going on, but the characters are so believable that you really get a feel for what’s going on and get drawn into the somewhat mundane, everyday events that are going on. Maybe Nana is a bad comparison, because the two Nanas lead sort of exciting lives… but I imagine Yotsuba&! being sort of a good comparison too, even though I haven’t read that one.
The main character and her mother move into a small town from Tokyo, and after a rough start, the girl gets settled into her new life pretty well. She befriends a boy who is the son of her mother’s childhood friend as well as a pair of siblings from a well-to-do family. Unfortunately though… her mother doesn’t settle in well, and things go poorly. It’s pretty sad.
The series is set up with a framing device, where the girl is an adult looking back, and the stories are set in different seasons and at different times in her life. The first story is about her first winter in the small town, where the second story takes place in a summer camp a year and a half later. The first story has several significant events in the life of the girl interspersed with lighter moments, and the summer camp story is mostly about coming to realize her first love and has much lighter, happier events.
I know it will take forever to get a new volume since it’s running in Shojo Beat, but I’m really excited to see what happens as far as who and where the girl winds up in the end. There is a little theme that seems like it will carry through the series, and that is the treasure the girl has in the one minute hourglass she gets right before moving to the town and seems to keep with her until she is an adult. It’s just a wonderful story, not nearly as girly and overpowering as Skip Beat or anything, but good all the same.