ES 3Posted: August 7, 2011
Fuyumi Soryo – Del Rey – 2006 – 8 volumes
Now, this one is just plain good. Again, it’s good in spite of being a story about psychics, which is subject matter I normally can’t stomach.
The first half of the volume is about Mine and her friend Kimiko. Kimiko is a friend from school who went on to get married and be a housewife. Mine doesn’t have many friends, so the fact that she can still see and talk her problems through with Kimiko is a rarity for her. But Kimiko doesn’t feel the same way. Kimiko harbors a lot of resentment in the traditional “Mine has everything I want, I’m so unhappy!” sense, and Isaac sees this weakness and decides to take advantage of it to hurt Mine.
The psychological warfare throughout this segment is exquisite. It’s sad, and very tragic. Not only because Kimiko feels that way about what appears to be her only friend, but that Isaac would dare exploit such a thing in order to warn Mine off. When a direct approach doesn’t work, Isaac decides that he will leave a scar for life, and does so in the most twisted way possible. It’s scenes like this, the utterly ruthless stuff, the psychological warfare, that makes ES worth reading for me.
And, of course, the strong characters. I wouldn’t feel so bad for Mine if I didn’t sympathize with her a great deal. Even the supporting characters are fleshed out and feel like real people facing horrible situations. The story is also told in as straightforward a manner as possible, and watching the characters take everything on unflinchingly is a pleasure.
There’s some ugliness between Mine and Shuro towards the end of the volume, when Mine finds out that Shuro kept the terrible truth of what happened to Kimiko a secret from her. She also begins to realize just how terrifying Isaac’s powers are, how defenseless she is in the face of it, and how close she is to someone who is just like Isaac in every way, save he has more of a conscience.
I am utterly fascinated by this series. I am very much looking forward to reading more.