I am finally back from what I would like to call “Exam Hell” followed by “Major Recovery Time” which has honestly consisted of nothing but playing video games, just finished Assassins Creed II. Anyway, this is a manga I picked up last month and to be honest, it was just a random purchase… I had the money on me and felt like picking up a book from an author I knew, thus I came across this book with art by Rei Idumi, the same artist that did the .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet manga, and the synopsis did sound pretty good overall. Was my purchase worth it? My review after the jump.
I am indifferent on the art work. Some scenes are drawn very well (Such as Hibiki wielding a gun and shades) whilst there were other scenes that were rather bland (Okay, maybe it is just the constant white backgrounds). However I would say that if you were to overlook the mainly white backgrounds, the drawing is quite solid and whilst not meeting to the standards of other manga, it is perfectly acceptable. Character designs are pretty good however I did find myself once or twice referring to the previous pages to identify what character is which since a couple of characters looked similar, however on the whole the character designs suited the scene it was trying to set.
Some of our most cherished manga characters are blessed with magical powers. Others have an extraordinary combination of superhuman strength and cunning intellect. But Hibiki? Her only real skill seems to be making a pot of delicious team… or is it?! This heartwarming fantast story will have you believing in the power of Hibiki’s magic.
Okay, this screams “KIDS MANGA” from the first impression, however if your eyes slowly move down the back cover, you will notice a Teen rating. I thought it was a bit weird however once I started reading it, I could understand why, the story isnt exactly what it makes itself out to be. For example, sure the characters can use magic, which is generic to a lot of manga, in this once, they actually have to pay a price for using it, whether it is pain, memory loss etc. As well, there are a lot of stories involving loss of a loved one due to cruel experiments, creation of an artificial life to replace a lost child, any a few others. It isn’t for everyone, however I did find the storyline did stray away from the normal stereotypical magic manga.
In relation to character development, a lot of the characters were introduced to the story and actually got a fair bit of development into them, however I don’t think Hibiki actually got the most indepth storyline and instead one of her students, Ahito, who holds an anti-magic opinion due to his past, seemed to have gotten the most development and was a continuous character throughout, having little bits of his personality and background added in every chapter.
- Occasional artistic page
- An epilogue
- Pages of notes/comments from Rei Idumi and Jun Maeda
From the front cover, I can see why people wouldnt pick it up, most probably mistaking it for a kids book or a generic story that isnt worth your time, however, whilst the manga isnt exceptional in anything, it still remains a very interesting read that you could most probably go back and get either a warm fuzzy feeling from or feel sorry for the characters. I doubt it would be for everyone, but it is something I would recommend as a read.
Personal Opinion: 8/10
Overall: 39/50 (78%)