Moonlit Promises (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, September 30, 2010
Release Date: Friday, June 25, 2010
Can a love that blooms under a moonlit sky survive the light of day?
Writer/Artist: Souya Himawari
Translation: Melanie Schoen
Adaptation: Melanie Schoen
What They Say
Roh is an outrageous orphan who has survived on the streets relying solely on his own strength. When he is taken in by a loving grandfather and grandson, Roh begins to believe that life may not be so bad. But when Seishin's grandfather dies unexpectedly, Roh finds himself responsible for more than just himself!
I love the cover of Moonlit Promises, and it made me want to pick up the book and see what was inside. The front cover shows Rou and Seishin in an embrace, Rou looking defiant, and Seishin looking a little more reserved. Emotional attachments don’t look like they come easily to Seishin! The back cover has a much younger version of the characters playing, with Rou once again taking charge and leading Seishin on some kind of adventure, Rou confident, Seishin a bit more reluctant. The cover images fit the feeling of the book very well.
The cover visuals also accurately reflect the interior content. I like Souya Himawari’s art quite a bit. There’s an elegance to the illustrations, and the characters are so expressive. It is easy to get caught up in the emotions played out through the panels, and that’s probably why I liked this book so much. I liked the protagonists, and that’s because I could instantly see what they were feeling. The translation is also well done, and the dialog flowed smoothly, without any awkwardness.
I really like Souya Himawari’s writing style. Her art is very pretty, and her stories pack a surprising emotional punch. Moonlit Promises is a BL anthology with three different stories, and I enjoyed all of them. The first chapter, Swan Song, was the weakest, and when I first started reading it, I wasn’t very impressed. I did change my mind by the end, because of the likable characters. This is what sets Souya Himawari’s story collections apart from other mangaka – I am always drawn to her characters, and I want them to get together and be happy in the end.
Swan Song is about a lonely guy, Xiren, who ends up in a brothel that specializes in pets, humanlike creatures with animal characteristics, like tails and fuzzy ears. When Xiren sees B-6, a laboratory failure, he finds himself captivated by the swan-like boy despite himself. He’s not really interested in pets, he doesn’t want to be at the brothel, and the only reason he’s there is because his friend dragged him there. Soon he finds himself in love with B-6, though, but his love is doomed because pets only live about 20 years, and B-6 is already 17. Oh noes!
The title story was really good. It’s about two boys, Rou and Seishin, and it chronicles their lives from childhood to young adulthood. After the death of Seishin’s grandfather, the two boys have no one to rely on but themselves. When Seishin finds a job as a security guard and is forced to kill someone, Rou thinks he’s losing his friend. In an effort to better understand what Seishin is going through, Rou decides to become a mercenary. This causes an even greater rift between the lovers. This is a compelling read because you have a sense of the desperation and confusion they are both going through, especially Rou, who only wants to protect Seishin.
My favorite story was “Magic of the Ring.” Robert has inherited his father’s vast fortune, but he doesn’t want it. It is causing no end of grief for him, especially with his jealous relatives. On a trip to Egypt to tour an archeological dig that was his father’s passion, Robert finds a magic ring. Khatam is a genie, and he has been imprisoned in the ring. To atone for his past sins, he must grant wishes to all who find his ring. I enjoyed this one! Both Khatam and Robert are unhappy, and it is only together that they find happiness.
Souya Himawari’s collection of BL romances all close with a feel-good ending. Tried and true themes of overcoming all odds make these compelling reads. All of the protagonists are good guys, and you can’t help but cheer them on. Add in a visually appealing art style, and you have a book that is hard to put down.
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 18 and Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Moonlit Promises