Sand Chronicles 3Posted: December 2, 2008
Oh, I’m a little behind on this series, too. I think the volumes come out at the same time as Honey and Clover, and I think I assume I read them together. And then don’t. I’m not even sure I have the fourth volume laying around, but I’m sure I can dig it out somewhere.
It’s still good, but I enjoy Honey and Clover a little more for obvious reasons (characters are a little easier to identify with, better sense of humor, a bit more varied story), but they’re sorta apples and oranges when it comes to a comparison, and I probably just prefer the Honey and Clover-type series more, if that makes any sense.
The two chapters this time around cover Summer and Fall of Anne’s 16th year. She gets to go home and visit Daigo, and Fuji and his sister have more family complications enter their lives. The situation between Fuji and Anne isn’t resolved, and actually just gets worse, which I was a little sad to see. Truth be told, I prefer Fuji to Daigo just a little bit, even though Daigo himself is a fine boy. It’s rare to see a series where the strengths and weaknesses of the characters are balanced in such a way as to make them all likeable, usually one romantic interest is a clear winner. Of course, with seven volumes left to go, the real winner may still appear, so I can’t call it close yet.
The fall chapter was really, really sad. Anne confronts Fuji and the two spend a bit of time together, but the cliffhanger broke my heart. Back out in the country, Fuji’s sister is dealing with her feelings. As much as it pained me to read her parts, I could really, really identify with her situation. Not because it ever happened to me, but I could certainly appreciate how much she was struggling with what she was doing (as far as the Daigo stuff goes… not so much the thing with the letters. I can’t really touch or identify with that).
A few things bothered me. The thing with the letters… I wasn’t sure why Fuji’s sister didn’t tell Fuji about what she found rather than have both of them worry about it like that. It also bothered me that the 16-year-olds were being so nostalgic about the time they were 12. Perhaps it does seem like a long time ago when you’re 16 and I’ve just forgotten in my old age. It also bothered me that Anne felt like she wanted to stop being friends with Fuji, but that’s definitely more of a personal preference. I also kind of hated that the cliffhanger at the end of the volume happened after the obvious parallel was drawn to Anne’s mom. Hopefully that situation will resolve itself pleasantly.
This is a bit more soap-y than a regular romance manga, mostly because it does everything with a bit more drama. It’s written well enough to pull it off, so I’m along for the ride as long as the teenage hearts are still indecisive. I’m curious where things will go, because it seems like the series will keep going once the characters are out of high school.
This was a review copy provided by Viz. I think. It’s hard for me to remember with these series I really like.