Monday, February 07, 2005

Manga Commentary

Legal Drug #1 - This series by the popular CLAMP studio, follows two young men with mystical powers who work in a drugstore together. The drugstore is an odd one, with a psychic boss who sends them out on missions to recover mystical artifacts that only their powers can obtain.

There is an interesting attraction between the two, in an antagonistic way because one is aloof while the other feels they owe the other because he saved his life a few years back.

The art is quite attractive and has a good sense of design. Though I did find it stiff in a few places, and I had a hard time figuring out exactly what was going on in certain places.

The book was behind the 8 ball before it began though, as fantasy elements aren't something I'm interested in reading about. The characterization and story has to be something extra to overcome my apathy towards that genre of story, and this didn't because it all seemed very surface level. Yet for others more open to that style of story, than you might want to check this out.

Here is Greenwood Book 2 - It takes a lot for me to not finish a book, but this book accomplished that feat.

It tells the story of Hasukawa who has moved into a dorm at his school. He has a huge crush on his brother's new wife, and so found it best to not to get out rather than have the object of his affection constantly on hand.

He's already a month behind at school though due to an illness putting him in the hospital at the start of the school year. Then to make matters worse he is placed in Greenwood, which is filled with a bunch of weirdos.

Two older students are assigned to be his mentors, yet they don't take the job too seriously as they room him with a strange boy who they first tell him is a girl. Since the school is all boys they want him to help in their deception of hiding what "she" is so she can continue at school. It all turns out to be a joke apparently though, as revealed when he talks with "her" in the men's restroom.

I say apparently because I had to ask a friend exactly what was going on. The book relies a bit too much on knowledge of manga cliches that they rarely explain in detail in the story.

The art splatters the dialogue and other elements across the page, making me become lost frequently while trying to read it. To the point that midway through I gave up on the book, since I honestly didn't care what was going on and so didn't feel like making the effort to follow it anymore.

Tramps Like Us Book 3 - This series has my favorite lead in Sumire Iwaya. She is an educated, accomplished, beautiful WOMAN, which separates her from so many other leads who are girls and as such have different priorities.

This volume introduces a rival for her boyfriend, which makes her face her feelings toward him and exactly what she wants.

She's not very comfortable with him for some reason. She acts how she thinks others expect her to be instead of who she really is. She knows a relationship should be easier, yet instead he's just another thing for him to obsess over what she's doing wrong.

An intended dinner with her intimidating family and a company trip to the beach add more levels of complexity. The only time she feels comfortable at all is when she's with her "pet," Momo, a rambunctious young male dancer who she allows to stay with her.

The story tries leading me towards rooting for Sumire and Momo to get together, and I can see certain possibilities with that because of how well they get along despite age differences.

Yet I find myself hoping that it doesn't go that route, because I think Sumire needs to learn more about herself. It is easy to go with what is comfortable, but I hope she eventually breaks out and goes with someone who will challenge her a bit more.

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