Recipe for Gertrude 4

February 5, 2012

Nari Kusakawa – CMX – 2007 – 5 volumes

I was a little surprised when the main story ended in volume four, which means volume five is just short stories, or an unconnected one-shot. It’s not a bad thing, I was just expecting the Claude story to stretch out a bit longer.

On the other hand, I think it would have dragged too much if it had. The story is paced very well here. We find out the true nature of the “real” Gertrude and her sister through a flashback. There’s a very long, extended goodbye between Sahara and Gertrude, and an even more triumphant scene right after that, courtesy of Sehara. I can’t spoil too much, since the whole book is about the ending of the series, but I thought it was a cute and very fitting ending to a series like this.

I can’t recall if I’ve spoken about this before or not, but this is a really great first series. It is a little rough around the edges (Puppen, Mariotte, and the other demons on Team Gertrude never feel like more than hangers-on, which is my biggest nitpick), but the fact that the story is so easy to get caught up in, and Gertrude and Sahara are both such likable characters, speaks much of her later skill. I adored Two Flowers for the Dragon, and while this isn’t quite as good, it’s still a very solid read, and has a very rare and genuine all ages appeal to it.

Plus, I still like demons. There’s a lot of vague magic stuff happening in this volume, and not so much demon stuff, but I still like the fact that Gertrude can still be a powerful demon when all is said and done. But mostly, I love that the relationship between Sahara and Gertrude took precedence in the end without overruling everything else that had happened. The ending was about the two of them wanting to be together, but both accepted the circumstances that were separating them, and the fact that other people exist. That is a somewhat rare point of view for a shoujo manga.

As much as I liked this series, I’m a little less excited for the last volume now that it’s not tied into the main storyline. But more Gertrude and Sehara is never a bad thing, and I’m sure I’ll love it. Hopefully it’ll be a cute place to leave the series off.

One Response to “Recipe for Gertrude 4”

  1. I was kind of surprised where the ending went for this one (but in a good way). I’ve liked everything this author has written; there’s just something irresistibly charming about her work and characters. : )

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