Phantom Thief Jeanne 4

July 29, 2015

Arina Tanemura – Viz – 2014 – 7 volumes
this is a 5 volume edition

Yes.  I am definitely in love with this series.  The pretty chapter illustrations here made me finally splurge on the KKJ artbook (the only Tanemura artbook I don’t have, Viz published the other 3 in the US some time ago).  But mostly, I’m in love with Finn Fish’s story.  I’m still a little broken up about what happened between her and Maron, and I’m 30 years old and read this series almost 10 years ago.

There’s also a weird sequence in this volume where Maron falls off her balcony and “time travels” inside her own head (?!) with Noin, and the pair go back to meet Jeanne d’Arc and try to change history.  They fail, but Maron starts to believe in herself a bit more.

“Believing in yourself” is a pretty generic magical girl message, but I love the way it’s delivered here.  Rather than generically “believing in yourself,” the characters discuss the difference between timidity and courage.  Despite being somewhat outgoing, Maron has lived by herself her entire life, does not possess the courage to call her parents, and Miyako is her only friend.  She has many exchanges with Chiaki where she just can’t admit her feelings, despite the fact he’s all over her and there’s nothing to be afraid of.  So, while in the past, Maron finds “courage” and realizes that she never really had any.  And she has some, because she transforms into Jeanne and goes out and does some flashy police pranking and thievery, but I guess that’s Jeanne and not Maron.  Maron has admired strong, courageous people throughout the series, but the message is brought home here.  I liked the more specific message over the usual generic one.

Another interesting exchange occurs when Maron tries to save Jeanne in the past.  Jeanne reveals that she was raped in prison, and thus no longer possesses the power to seal demons (one must be a virgin).  Maron tells her that what they did to her does not change the purity of her heart, which is what actually gives her the power to seal demons.  It’s not often that the virginity requirement is tossed out the window like that, and I loved that Maron basically ignored it.  Granted, they didn’t delve any deeper than that (rape is a pretty dark topic for this series), but still, it was much more positive than the “oh, you’re soiled now” you’d expect.  I’m looking at you, X.

Lots of other stuff happens, and I’m feeling pretty bad for most of the characters by the end of this volume.  Actually, the volume ends in a terrible place, with a terrible body blow to Maron, one character evil, and two others probably brainwashed.  It gets better, but I’m looking forward to the dark stuff resolving and seeing some clear skies ahead.

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