March 25, 2009
Oddly, I had a hard time getting ahold of this volume. It’s been too long between the first and second volumes, because I’ve sort of lost the plot of the story other than the obvious theme of the girl being able to time travel. I remember the first volume being quite good though, and I was a little disappointed to see that the story wasn’t going to be developed past this volume since it comes to a close here.
Kazuko’s time travel abilities continue to be a mystery, but she uses them to help her friend get through a bad break-up in the first chapter (I didn’t quite understand why she had to jump back through time to do this, but her time-stop at the end was understandable). Later, the love triangle between Kazuko, Goro, and Kazuo gets some more focus, and some mysterious jump forward abilities that don’t belong to Kazuko are revealed.
The climax of the series is pretty great, though I can’t say I was all that happy with the conclusion. A crisis that will injure either Goro, who finally admits his feelings in a picture-perfect moment, or Kazuo plays out, and the time travel abilities seem to injure one or the other. Kazuko attempts to go back to what she assumes is the source of all her time-travel problems, but then all is revealed. The conclusion is only disappointing because one of the romantic interests is totally eliminated, and rather than getting together with the other, who is very sincere and a more normal match, it’s implied that Kazuko will wait for the other boy to sort things out. It’s a little weird.
All in all though, this is really a pretty good 2-volume series. It’s subtle and does some interesting and understated things with its time travel theme. I think it’s based on another property (novel, movie, anime, I’m not sure), and I imagine it making a better movie or drama series than it does a manga, but it’s really quite a good story for being an adaptation.
June 23, 2008
This is another advance copy from CMX, this time the series isn’t out until late September. I’ll be first in line to pick it up.
I wasn’t sure about it at first. It’s a lot like Sand Chronicles, but with more stupid jokes thrown in. I got stuck on the stupid jokes in the beginning at first (plus the volume doesn’t really start off that well), but by the end of the first chapter I was totally won over by the plot. Imagine Sand Chronicles taking place in real time, and whenever any sort of sweet or bittersweet memory was recalled, the heroine is allowed to alter the way the event plays out for the future. This sounds like a sci-fi element that doesn’t work that well, but it’s totally awesome in the context of the story. For instance, the first chapter is about how much the main character loved her grandmother, and certain smells (specifically an out-of-place lavender smell) was causing her to relive some memories of her grandma. One of her biggest regrets was that she hadn’t been allowed to go see her grandmother one last time at the hospital and hadn’t demanded it as a child, so when she winds up suddenly back in the past, she sits and has a quiet afternoon with her grandmother, eating their favorite snack together.
Each chapter is about her going back in time and changing the outcome of various inconsequential things. In one case, the outcome is really horrible for other people, but better for her friends. In another case, it doesn’t involve her friends at all. It’s a nice gimmick.
It’s really, really sweet. The characters are in their final year of high school, but there’s still some really cute, innocent love triangles that feel fairly sincere given the fact that the characters aren’t terribly deep at this point. The characters are somehow dysfunctional, actually, and I still really loved this volume. The main character is the one who is the butt of many of the jokes, her best female friend is really cold and annoying, and one of the males that hangs out with her has a really mysterious and not-well-explained role that doesn’t quite fit. I’m willing to forgive it the sloppy characters for the fantastic story which works well in hopes of that aspect of it being tightened up later.
But yes. Sincere stories about childhood that the main character can change the outcome of, usually winding up with a really happy ending. It’s hard to get me this pumped about a series with just the first volume, but this has one of the best first volumes I’ve read in awhile.