Pretear Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, December 23, 2004
Release Date: Sunday, August 01, 2004
Translated by:Amy Forsyth
What They Say
A young girl believed to be the Prétear - the savior to a dying world - returns to a fantasy land that was once a brimming, beautiful landscape, overflowing with Leafe. But now, she must defend this unseen world from the Princess of Diaster, whose wicked touch steals the Leafe from all living things. Alongside her seven trusted companions, Himeno will not only fight her fatal foe, but will come to know her quite well, as a jarring saga slowly unfolds. Unrequited love turned the Princess's heart to icy steel, and unlocking certain truths from her past will test Himeno's courage, and even her position as the life-saving Prétear.
Once again, we get a very attractive and clean cover featuring Himeno and Hayate against a background of flower petals blowing in the wind with a dark-haired woman (probably the previous Prétear) in the background. The back keeps the clean, white motife and gives us a small shot of the other Leafe Knights. The logo blends in better with the front cover thanks to some of the colors used in the picture of Himeno and Hayate.
It's your typical shoujo artwork, and there's not too much here that stands out. The battle scenes are beautifully draw, with smooth, flowing lines as Himeno merges with her knights and attacks. The characters themselves aren't that attractive, especially Himeno. While, in keeping with the Snow White theme, I didn't expect much from the stepsisters, I was surprised at how Himeno turned out. The short, choppy haircut really detracts from her. The knights, as typical bishounen are, are very pretty. Three pages of colored art at the beginning of the book provide the series prologue and are reproduced beautifully.
The translation of the story for me was good. It was a clean read for me and the kanji left untranslated did not seem as intrusive as it did in the first volume.
Content (may contain spoilers):
The first volume of this series did not entertain me very much. I found it somewhat boring, a bit predictable, but good enough to have me wanting to read the second volume.
At the end of the second book, the predictable parts overwhelmed the story to the point where I lost what little interest I had in the series.
Himeno does the typical shoujo bit after hearing what happened to the previous Prétear and runs off to contemplate this. She heads home and has a nasty encounter with her stepmother and stepsisters. She's also being picked on at school because of her perceived relationship with Kei. But in fact, she's starting to become more infatuated with Hayate.
Himeno pairs off with Mannen for a spirited attack during the next earthquake, but it leads to another rebuke from Hayate. The scenes with Mannen are one of the few focusing solely on the Leafe Knights and happen to be the most enjoyable in the volume. She decides to quit being the Prétear once again, but only after hearing what happened to her predecessor and how she fell in love with Hayate. This motivates Himeno to fully become the Prétear for the first time by being able to work with Hayate.
It's hard to pinpoint where this series goes wrong for me. In a lot of ways, it has me really not being interested in Himeno. She's a very static, stereotypical character to me and does little that distinguishes her from similiar heroines. She's spunky like Miaka from Fushigi Yugi, but even Miaka is a lot more endearing. It was a shock to get to the end of the book and discover that the incident with Hayate was the first time that she fully became Prétear. What was she doing prior to then? This is a story that tries to be a commentary on other works in both the fairy tale and magical shoujo genres, but falls flat on its face and manages not to be special at all.
Mania Grade: C-
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A=
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: ADV Manga
Orientation: Right to Left