Yurara 2Posted: February 8, 2011
Chika Shiomi – Viz – 2007 – 5 volumes
I’m still a little unimpressed with this series, especially compared to the followup series Rasetsu. But much like Rasetsu, the second volume endeared me to it a little more. I’m not as attached to the characters this time around – I don’t think Yurara is as interesting as Rasetsu, nor is Mei as cool as Kuryu – but the second volume did flesh them out a little more, and it was easier for me to get into.
The first chapter is still a little blah, with a rather average story about a ghost that possesses a girl that’s bullying Yurara. But after that, the chapters focus on Mei, and things get a little more interesting. We learn that Mei has a problem in a chapter about a ghost that harasses Yurara, grabbing her and forcing her guardian spirit change and otherwise being a creep. Next, we visit Mei’s house to find that his mother… well. Is different. And he lives in a family full of flirtatious men. As sad as the situation was, it still made me smile. And what we learn in these two chapters carries over into a story about a ghost that Mei knows from the past taking possession of his body.
The stories are getting more serious (Mei getting possessed and having his life threatened is probably about as serious as it’s going to get here), and are doing so by developing the characters. I like that a lot, although somehow, aside from a deepening crush, Yurara seems to be immune to said character development. I think, even with the stories getting more interesting, that that’s the root of my problem. While she’s not actively terrible or hard to sympathize with, it’s hard to figure out why the boys make such a fuss. It’s probably because of her spiritual power (they all three have this in common), and Yurara is kind-hearted, if nothing else, balancing out the strange ruthlessness of Mei. But she’s just a little vanilla. Especially when compared to the spirited Rasetsu.
I feel bad, comparing this constantly to a work that is a later spin-off. Of course the second will be better than the first. But it’s my frame of reference, and with my indifference towards the main character and some of the stories, I have nothing else to dwell on. But as I said, the stories are beginning to get more serious and character-centric, and the second volume was better than the first. I’m hoping the third will be better still, and maybe the fifth will have caught it up with the greatness of Rasetsu.
Have I mentioned I can’t wait to read the last two volumes of Rasetsu? Because I really can’t. These five volumes probably won’t even hold me over until the second-to-last comes out next month.