The Saturday Issue focuses on the more visual books read here at In Libris Veritas; ranging from graphic novels to manga to game companion guides.
Publisher: Tokyo Pop
Series: Magic Knight Rayearth
Edition: Paperback, 3 Volumes
Genre: Fantasy Manga
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Hikaru, Umi and Fuu are Tokyo schoolgirls with nothing else in common until one fateful day changes everything: the three are summoned to the magical realm of Cephiro and find that their lives are inexorably intertwined. Princess Emeraude, whose willpower keeps Cephiro safe, has been kidnapped by the sinister Zagato, and the three girls must become the legendary Magic Knights in order to save her. It’s not going to be easy, as Zagato has sent his most powerful minions to stop the girls before they can fulfill their destinies. Protected by an ancient wizard’s blessing and determined to find their way home, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu begin the adventure of a lifetime
So instead of reviewing each volume of a manga series I’ve decided I’m going to do a series review once I’ve read them all. It saves me the trouble of racking my brain for something new to say for each volume, especially if they are consistant, and when it comes to longer series I don’t feel pressured to write 80 reviews for one series.
Magic Knight Rayearth I is a series I grabbed at a thrift store, I had no prior knowledge and I’ve never read a CLAMP series. I think overall this is a pretty solid but middle of the field manga. It did come out in the 90’s and it really has the feel to it, from the art to the quick paced progression. The first thing you’ll notice is that it only has three volumes, which I think is a damn shame. With only three volumes this manga strives to do a lot in very little page time and thus things don’t have enough time to develop in a more natural flow. Instead, we have a ton of action all piled up in one area, a ton of instant-friend situations, and a lot of over reaction to get a point firmly across. All three volumes were really consistent in story and enjoyment, so I do think that if given more volumes to work with this could have been a truly great series. The mix of fantasy and a touch of science fiction is rather cool as well, but we don’t get to see a lot of it and it’s not developed beyond the main plot line. My one major complaint about this was the lack of a developed ending. I don’t mean to say there isn’t an ending, there very much is, it’s just that the ending happens so abruptly that you’re sort of just like ‘Okay” and that’s it. It builds and builds, we see a resolution but don’t get to really SEE it and then it ends.
I think I’ll always be fond of 90’s anime art similar to this style. It’s got such nice linework to it and you can really make some dynamic scenes with it. The character designs are pretty standard as well and I don’t really see any missteps in that area.
There is a second series that I also bought, appropriately named Magic Knight Rayearth II, and it’s also three volumes. I feel that it’ll probably have some the same issues as well, but we shall see.