Yurara 1Posted: January 22, 2011
Chika Shiomi – Viz – 2007 – 5 volumes
Here’s another older shoujo series, but this is a short one, and I’m dipping into this because I can’t get enough Rasetsu, a sort of spin-off of this series that has some characters in common.
I think I was imagining more of a proto-Rasetsu, but this is… different. It’s set in a high school, and the sweet and shy Yurara along with two boys named Yako (who later appears in Rasetsu) and Mei act as the school’s ghostbusters. Yurara has a spirit that takes over her body and exorcises the spirits when Yurara is in trouble, Yako has a supernatural barrier he can make from water, and Mei has a spirit fire he can use to harm spirits. There are some wacky romantic hijinx thrown in for good measure.
I was disappointed, but I realize it’s not terribly fair to this series to judge it based on Rasetsu. Rasetsu came after, has older characters, and isn’t set in high school, so it’s slightly more sophisticated story-wise. The ghostbusting is the same, but the situations in Yurara are tame compared to the dangerous house-sized ghosts out to claim as many souls as possible in Rasetsu. And Yurara lacks the charming Kuryu, though smooth-talking Mei would give him a run for his money. And Mei seems to have a dark past, much like Kuryu, but so far, I am… thinking that Mei’s past isn’t nearly as dark as Kuryu’s.
I also, unfortunately, know which of the two male leads is chosen at the end. The choice in this series… doesn’t bode well for Kuryu in Rasetsu, and I am rooting for him there. But that is a minor point.
Other than that… so far, Yurara seems like a pretty regular, shy, timid girl that’s easily embarrassed by the constant bickering between Mei and Yako. I do like both of the boys, though. Yako, of course, I already know (although it could be argued he gained many of his more mature personality traits in this series and is thus different here), and Mei seems like a fun stand-in for Kuryu. He’s fairly easy to like. I also like that Yurara gains both a physical and personality transformation when her guardian spirit takes over. Seeing her stand up to the boys, especially Mei, is satisfying after seeing her take so much.
It’s cute, and I’m still going to give it a chance based on the strength of Rasetsu. Rasetsu took a few volumes to grow on me, so maybe the rather mundane beginnings in this volume will build up into a wonderful conclusion four volumes from now.