Recipe for Gertrude 2

October 26, 2011

Nari Kusakawa – CMX – 2006 – 5 volumes

You know, I do like the book a little better after the second volume. The storytelling has settled down quite a bit, and it’s beginning to show some of the wonderful character development that made me such a big fan of Two Flowers for the Dragon.

Sahara has a decision to make at the beginning of the volume. She finds out that she has the recipe Gertrude wants written on her bones. Her brother has been “protecting” her all this time, keeping her from the outside world and Gertrude, but he’s not really the brother she’s known all her life when he does this. On the other hand, what would Gertrude do to her to get the recipe? Does she really know? Who’s she safer with?

There’s a really, really subtle romance going on between Gertrude and Sahara. It’s mostly contained in quiet moments and brief snatches of calm between action scenes, but both characters are definitely dwelling on the other. It’s cute stuff. And it becomes more concrete by the end of the volume.

Two nice details begin to flesh out the demon side of the story a bit more. One of them is a character sent after Gertrude, a demon looking for his body part. It’s always nice to see another demon, and the body part this demon was looking for is a cute one indeed, but one that puzzles Gertrude a bit. Later, Gertrude and Sahara visit a demon bookstore and have an adventure there. The demon bookstore is a wonderful place, and apparently it will be a setting in volumes to come. It’s got a lot of nice details and idiosyncrasies in its operation, and the proprietor is an entertaining grouch/monster. I’d love to read more about it.

By the end of the volume, Sahara is in a situation where she can either be with her parents, or Gertrude, but not both. She wants both though, and that’s the problem for volume three to tackle.

I just realized the translation and adaptation in this book was handled by Tony Ogasawara, who did the adaptation I loved so much in From Eroica With Love. I don’t think it makes much difference in Recipe for Gertrude, but it’s good to know, all the same.

2 Responses to “Recipe for Gertrude 2”

  1. Cameron Says:

    I remember I followed this series when it was new. The first volume was so frustrating, but from the second volume onward it improved constantly. I was quite satisfied with it when the main story ended in volume 4. I want to reread it soon, actually..

    I finally managed to find copies of Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne where I live and it hit me after I started reading them that CMX was really gone. I don’t make much money and thus only stuck to a few series in general, but I really liked their selection of stories. I intend to track down the entire sets of Chikyu Misaki, Land of the Blindfolded, and Vs., and with any luck I may try and finish Emma. I really wanted to read Kusakawa’s other works, as well, but knowing that they aren’t going to be finished unless they’re rescued makes it pointless to start for me. I miss having CMX around..

  2. Connie Says:

    I agree with you! There were very few series I disliked from CMX, and the shoujo titles usually had a really subtle, unique flavor to them. Even the ones meant for a younger audience, like Lapis Lazuli Crown and Kiichi and the Magic Books, were so charming that it was hard for me not to love them. And they also took a gamble on older titles early on. I still can’t get over how good/bizarre Moon Child was. Everything they released was consistently good, and I bought a ton of marginal-sounding series from them knowing that I’d love them.

    I’m picking up full runs of some of the series I missed as I see them in used bookstores. I’ve got Versus and The Devil Does Exist waiting for me, and I also managed to pick up all the volumes of Emma. I need to track down Land of the Blindfolded, too, and Tower of the Future now that I know I’m completely in love with the work of Saki Hiwatari. And Pieces of a Spiral because of Kaim Tachibana, and Tenryu because of Sanami Matoh… I probably have at least half of all the books CMX released, and there’s still a ton of stuff I need to pick up.

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