Chikyu Misaki Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 196
  • ISBN: 1401208002
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Chikyu Misaki Vol. #02

By Jarred Pine     October 18, 2006
Release Date: December 14, 2005

Chikyu Misaki Vol.#02

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Iwahara Yuji
Translated by:Jonathon Tarbox
Adapted by:Jonathon Tarbox

What They Say
Misaki and Sanae thought it would be easy to conceal their shape-shifting friend Neo in the small village of Hohoro. But more and more people are arriving, seeking explanations. Asai Tokuko has come looking for her kidnappers, Fujikawa Reiko is looking for lost gold, and a mysterious gunman is determined to keep some questions unanswered!

The Review
Chikyu Misaki renders me speechless (typeless?). It's not a result of brain-busting twists, deep metaphorical content, and definitely not because it's a horrible manga; it's unbelievably good. Simple, but really, really, good; and that has taken me by surprise and left me here feeling like a stooge for passing up on a title for mere cover art alone. Don't make the same mistake as me. Do yourself a favor and pick this up now!

The mysteries continue to twist and bend around Hohoro Village, with the cruel adult world getting closer and closer to Misaki, Neo, and all the Makishima family and friends. The real gem in this volume is the length background story around Tokuko and her piano teacher turned kidnapper, Fujikawa Reiko. In a mere 30 or pages, creator Iwahara Yuji is able to flesh out another character and add another layer on top of the already 9-layer cake without causing it to cave in on itself. Misaki also begins to recollect some of her childhood memories that may have ties to Neo, who has disappeared off into the wilderness alone.

Production continues to be solid--color pages, good printing with a few small muddy issues, and a well done English script--with the exception being how CMX decided to vertically align some of the text. For text boxes that were narrow and much more favorable for Japanese text, the English text is also written from top-down but read left-to-right. I actually noticed a couple spots where the text read right-to-left which really caused by head to blow in confusion. It's not a deal-breaker issue or anything, but my eyes really hard a hard time flowing with the standard text on the page.

Chikyu Misaki continues to be a cute, yet undeniably page-turning-ass-in-the-seat type of mystery that is spinning multiple layers with a cast of complex and well constructed characters. And Iwahara Yuji is doing this all within the span of 3 volumes, proof that length does not equal quality. Will he be able to pull everything off in the last volume? Stay tuned.


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