Yukiru Sugisaki – Tokyopop – 2009 – 13+ volumes
I reviewed this volume for this week’s Manga Minis column, so you can check out my review over there.
It was still kinda blah, but we do finally get an explanation for Dark/Krad after all these years, and the current storyline is mercifully put to sleep at the end of the volume, so we have the possibility of something more interesting when next we convene.
There hasn’t been a new volume in Japan in awhile though, so I fear that it may be another couple years. High fives to Tokyopop for keeping D.N.Angel and I.N.V.U. alive through years of infrequent Japanese/Korean volumes, though.
Yukiru Sugisaki – Tokyopop – 2009 – 13+ volumes
Amidst all the news of dropped Tokyopop series (my poor GetBackers!!!), here’s a volume of a series that they’ve resumed publishing after three years now that new volumes have started coming out in Japan again. I’d say that bodes quite well for the future of other such series. Now let’s all cross our fingers for the next volume of Immortal Rain.
Anyway. I reviewed this volume for the weekly Manga Minis column at the Manga Recon. You can check out the review over there.
Yeah… those characters are still pretty bland.
I decided not to save this one and to just get it out of the way while I was reading the rest of the series anyway. I wound up liking the storyline a bit better here.
There’s still mostly just a ton of exposition and no action, but we do get a few interesting details thrown our way. If the pure emotion of love summons Dark, can Dark also be summoned by hate, and if he can, what would that do? Are Risa and Riku naturally linked because they are twins, or is it a spell? Everyone seems to be getting very serious in this volume, including Daisuke’s parents.
We get very little in the way of concrete explanation, but there is a possibility of a Krad/Dark merge, and I kind of like that, if it ever happens. We’ll see. I would like to see more of this series, honestly. I didn’t like it very much, but I’m sad to see it end in the middle of a story arc which has built itself up so intensely and hasn’t even gotten to pay off this buildup with action yet.
And here, we just get the results of the Dark/Risa and Daisuke/Riku date. Of course, Daisuke’s entire family is helping him out, and of course lots of wacky and funny situations arise, and lots of romantic almosts and perhaps some embarassing moments! Oh no!
If you read the review of the last volume, you’ll know how much I enjoyed this one. No action, once again, and I still don’t like the characters enough to forgive the series for this kind of thing, though the end does promise some payoff next volume. Lots of veiled hints are given about Dark too, and they’re the kind I think you’re just supposed to memorize because they’ll keep bringing up names and attaching them to characters who already have names. If that made any sense.
It feels like this storyline may bring the series to a close, but I may also say that because… I don’t know why. I still have volume 11 to read, but I have a feeling that the buildup for this storyline is going to be slow and we’ll never see the action sequences, so I may just save it.
Yeah, as cool as “The Second Hand of Time” was, it was not so cool to see it end in this goofy and embarassing way. Daisuke seems so much the same. It seems like Dark was the one who got all the character development.
Anyway, it’s weird that the third story doesn’t get a title. What’s also weird was that after the awesomeness of the past two volumes, this volume was no good. The focus was primarily character-centric this time, and as I said earlier, I don’t particularly care for the characters. There’s an awkward date setup with Risa, Riku, Dark, and Daisuke where one body will have to cover two dates at once, and much preperation and discussion was spent on this. Actually, 3/4 of a volume was spent on this.
Really, perhaps I’ve just outgrown this type of relationship manga. This is a girl’s series, and I like romance comics, but I need more gratification than just awkward moments and hints of hand-holding in nine volumes of the same characters chasing each other. There are plenty of series I read that are like this, but this one… I dunno, it seems like it just misses the mark. The action means that I don’t peg it as a series for younger kids, and the relationships aren’t quite cute enough to get away with how little is going on. Plus, Dark is not meant to be in a manga where as little goes on in the relationship as it does here.
This volume was pretty epic. It was more or less the climax of the “Second Hand of Time” storyline and featured more action than I ever remember seeing in this series.
So the painting goes all black, Freedert might not be all bad or all good, the folk tale that everyone knows isn’t the real version of it, the Hikari family seem to have their hands in everything, and everything runs to the epic side this time around.
I hated all the veiled hints at the plot forthcoming. Not just because it sounds like things might get a lot more complex and that’s the last thing this series needs, but because these things will never come to be since the series is stalled.
My favorite scene in the volume was when Satoshi asked Dark how he let the painting get so bad, and then simply repainted it for him. It was cute and pretty uncharacteristic of the creepy little boy. I didn’t really enjoy Risa and Riku’s meddling beforehand, but I did like Freedert’s good form and how Daisuke became such good friends with her. I also liked the cute little personality Dark developed in this volume. Well, actually, this is probably the best volume the series has offered up thus far.
The one thing that I’m still kind of confused about is what exactly caused the painting world, and how it ended. I’m sort of clear on how it happened… kinda… (though if it took time and gave it to someone, the time wasn’t lost, it’s still there, why couldn’t it give it back?) but what happened in the end was a real mess. I really didn’t understand what was going on at all. It didn’t seem to matter too much though, because it brought things to a tragic end.
Unfortunately, this story comes to kind of a stupid conclusion in the next volume.
I think it was a good idea to take so much time off from this series. I remember just loathing it, and I dreaded going back for the rest of the volumes. Plus it’s stalled indefinitely, so I knew there wasn’t going to be a resolution anyway. But after marathoning both this series and Hana-Kimi, I really think reading in chunks is the way to go. It certainly pulled this one’s ass out of the fire.
The thing I remember most was that I absolutely could not deal with the characters. I still think that both Risa and Riku are cardboard cutouts with no personality, but I at least got a great deal fond of the others. I think the main thing that saved this series was that I jumped right back into “The Second Hand of Time” story right as the action took off and all the boring character stuff was out of the way. I actually do like the plot of this series, but the thing I disliked was that it was always sidetracked by really stupid character interaction. But here we get quite a nice and ethereal action sequence where Dark has to enter a painting with Riku to try and save Daisuke. The fact that Dark is told outright at the beginning that he is never getting Daisuke back by the creepy, creepy Satoshi also adds an extra incentive to the story, because you kind of do wonder if the two will be separated.
This is sandwiched in between the school play rehersal stuff where we learn a bit about the legend the entire story arc is based on, plus we get to see Satoshi play Dark and Dark (as Daisuke) dressed in drag. Neither seem to like this, and a lot of these types of scenes are pretty funny due entirely to Satoshi and Dark, who are both probably the best characters. Dark gets quite a bit of development over the next couple volumes, and it made me like him a lot more.
There are definitely still some romance elements that are played up A LOT. Dark and Daisuke have swapped women, and everything’s a lot more serious. I kind of prefer this to the comic hijinx of what was going on in earlier volumes… or maybe I just forgot that it was always like this and I’m being more tolerant now.
At any rate, I did enjoy the series quite a bit more after reading this story arc. It continues in the next volume!