September 20, 2015
Yun Kouga – Blu – 2006 – 4 volumes
Eh. I actually did like the Raphael/Michael story. It was set almost entirely in the past, when they were in school. We also got to learn who Lucifel was. She was mentioned as a Rather Significant person in the story, but none of that was ever cleared up. We learn who she is to Michael (CREEPY), who she is to Gabriel, and about the war between her and Michael. She’s… kind of a good character? Combative, very individualistic. Takes what she wants, which throws Raphael off. But I cannot deal with the relationship between her and Michael.
After glimpsing what looked like a rather intimate relationship between Gabriel and Michael… there actually isn’t one here. The relationships are mostly Lucifel’s. In that, I was horribly disappointed.
The Secret Garden story takes up a little more than half the volume. There’s a cute, short color story set when Chihaya and Kagetsuya were still working as partners, then a sort of epilogue… where the characters talk about what’s going on with everything but Chihaya and Kagetsuya. We… never actually see them. Which is pretty upsetting, given the ending of the main series.
There’s an adorable story about Chihaya and some mermaids. I couldn’t figure out how that fit into the scheme of things, but it was cute, and I appreciated that.
There’s also extensive notes (“Recipes”) in the back from Kouga from the original run of Earthian. I enjoyed the last one, where she talked about how her career was evolving while she drew Earthian. Very interesting.
Hmm… hm. I think this volume was probably the best in the series, though I still like Chihaya and Kagetsuya best, and they weren’t in it. As for the series as a whole… it’s very pretty, and a very interesting work, but… worth tracking down? I don’t know that the BL crowd will dig it (there’s barely any romance), and those looking for a good sci-fi story can find better elsewhere. Fans of Kouga might want to check it out… but if you’re coming from Loveless, you’d be better off picking up Crown of Love. You’ll probably be disappointed with this. Especially if you start with volume one. On the hypothetical third hand, this is available from eManga, so there’s no risk in giving the digital version a try if you are so inclined. But the Blu edition is beautiful, as I’ve mentioned before.