August 15, 2010
Chika Shiomi – Aurora – 2009 – 2+ volumes
only one volume was published in English
Continuing on with the theme of bad manga, I pulled this from the bottom of my to read stack. I had bought this thinking that I ought to read a series by Chika Shiomi, who has several licensed in English at this point. I chose this because I like Aurora, but forgetting that they published some of the worst series I’ve ever read (Flock of Angels, Nephilim). The negative reviews poured in for this book, and it drifted to the bottom of my pile, destined to only be remembered when I was trying to think of something bad to read.
I’ve since read Rasetsu by Shiomi and enjoyed it quite a bit. But this predates Rasetsu, and is based on a doujinshi that Shiomi drew before she debuted professionally. It shows.
It’s not bad, it’s just super generic, but I have a soft spot for fantasy series, so it wasn’t nearly as terrible as I thought it would be. It suffers a lot from “here’s everything that’s happening, here are the special words for things, let me explain them to you rather than show you,” but the nuts and bolts aren’t bad if you like fantasy. A girl who has lost the use of her legs to a necromancer meets up with a man who has lost the use of his eye, and the two of them team up to slay demons with a special sword and seek out the necromancer to put a stop to the demon invasion.
All right, yeah, it’s not very good.
The first chapter rushes through the entire setup, and each subsequent chapter adds another layer of unnecessary explanation and terminology to the simple fantasy world. The backstories for both characters come up in this volume, and one of the problems the two are having is solved by the end of the book. I did like the guy’s backstory, where he didn’t have a sad story and was quite sympathetic to the demon that took his eye, and I kind of liked the way the heroine was killed and came back to life, but her being a queen and coming back to take vengeance on the demons was… yeah. Neither of the characters had personality, really, or much chemistry, but… I guess the guy was pretty big, and I liked that he carried her around on her shoulder in lieu of her walking.
I just couldn’t bring myself to hate it, but it’s pretty hard to get me up in arms over something. I see a little good in everything, and I even wanted the next volume to finish up the simple story (apparently it’s at least one more? I really can’t see the story stretching out that far). But yeah. It’s not good. You’d be better off reading Rasetsu. Or anything else in English by her, I’m sure. Though I hear Canon’s a little creepy.