Recipe for Gertrude 3

November 10, 2011

Nari Kusakawa – CMX – 2007 – 5 volumes

While this is still pretty middle-of-the-road shoujo, I can’t help but like it. And that’s the charm of most CMX series. They completely win you over, even with some flaws. Kusakawa’s other series, Two Flowers for the Dragon, was the same way, except it had a slightly underwhelming premise that was so well-written it was impossible not to like. CMX series are mostly wonderful, but even the handful of series like this one, which are flawed, were still really fun reads.

I was a little torn about the direction the story takes in this volume, even though I loved it all the way through. The first half was an especially nice stretch of story, since it had a contest where Sahara duels with the demon Curtis for half her soul and protection from Claude and his magic. Gertrude is involved, and it’s a big cute emotional thing, since Gertrude substitutes her soul in place of Gertrude’s eye, which he was willing to give Curtis in exchange for protecting Sahara. Also, Sahara is worried about Claude. Claude is evil, but he is also her brother, and she can’t shake the good memories she’s had with him. Can he really be all bad, after they grew up together?

But the second half reveals the reason behind the recipe, why Claude made Gertrude, how he made him, and why he has a split personality. This explanation is coupled with another one of Gertrude’s transformations (which I had forgotten about, honestly), but… still doesn’t quite make sense to me. It’s also a little creepy, and the punchline is that he’s still going to have to sacrifice Sahara in order to see his plan come to fruition. It’s not that satisfying, but it’s definitely compelling, and it’s got me reaching for volume four despite myself. Then again, this sort of series is definitely my thing. I just can’t resist demons.

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