Cipher Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: C-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-4012-0803-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Cipher

Cipher Vol. #02

By Ron Quezon     October 17, 2007
Release Date: January 04, 2006

Cipher Vol.#02

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Minako Narita
Translated by:Jonathan Tarbox
Adapted by:Jonathan Tarbox

What They Say
Anise is the only one who has discovered that the twin brothers Siva and Cipher are sharing one life, taking turns going to school and working as an actor. But they have yet to reveal to her the reason for this bizarre lifestyle. How far will she go to uncover their secret?

The Review
Cipher and Siva have Anise fooled, or so they think. But after two weeks of them living together and Anise “losing” the bet of telling the two apart, Anise is anything but a stranger. Whether she’s watching TV with them, ditching class with Cipher, or even making them dinner, she still finds herself immersed in their lives. She even starts to open up and shares her personal guilt about her kid brother’s accident. With summer approaching and the Siva going to Los Angeles for a TV show, Anise takes it upon herself to make Cipher and Siva one of her signature quilts. Unfortunately, not everyone at school is thrilled about Anise’s close friendship with Siva. They scheme a plan, but how will the twins keep Anise from getting more bumps and bruises? More importantly, how will the two respond when they suspect that Anise really has figured out how to tell them apart?

If you found the first volume of Cipher to your liking, Volume 2 should be appealing to you as well. Most of this volume is dedicated to subtle details about the main characters. It moves much slower than the first volume to develop the characters and flesh out their idiosyncrasies. Cipher becomes easily attached to his possessions. Siva will cry only when he is alone. Additionally, Anise and her brother get along remarkably well. The characters have moved past the awkward phase of getting to know one another, and the “challenge” of telling the twins apart is a distant memory.

There are still plenty of 80’s references. The Bruce Springsteen bandana and Michael Jackson’s “We are the World” imitation will make you chuckle. Just as in the first volume, Minako Narita still includes kissing scenes to keep readers a bit on edge. To be fair, Cipher and Siva aren’t the only family members pressing lips this time!

This volume reveals more about Anise and her past than about Cipher and Siva. With the guilt she harbors over her brother’s accident, Anise comes across as a much more emotionally layered character. However, the author drops enough little hints about the twins to keep you guessing about their past and keep you reading for more.

Please note that the text/ translation dropped from a B rating to a C- rating due to the vertical typesetting of the translation in some sections. The English is written with letters running top to bottom in these bubbles. Also, it is not consistent as some bubbles read left to right and some read right to left.

My favorite of the extras is chibi versions of Cipher and Siva as Minako Narita’s favorite musicians. Other extras include advertisements for other CMX titles, character bio pages, and five additional splash pages of the main characters.


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