Moon Child Vol. #02 (

By:Gary Thompson
Review Date: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Reiko Shimizu
Translated by:Jonathan Tarbox
Adapted by:Jonathan Tarbox

What They Say
Shona is led to believe the unbelievable - that Jimmy is "Benjamin," the half-mermaid/half-human mentioned in the prophecies of destruction. But one problem remains: the prophecy foretells of a girl!

The strange twins that exactly resemble Jimmy are the only ones who seem to know the full truth about the boy and the nature of his bizarre powers. Although they claim to be protecting him, they appear to have their own agenda. Only time will tell whether they are allies... or enemies in disguise!

The Review
Things start off on a bad foot when Jimmy lets Art oversleep and he misses an important audition. Art barely has enough time to get upset, however, because Jimmy, acting as Art's good luck charm, is lead to an influential man in the theater business who happens to be a fan of Art's dancing. Art and Jimmy quickly start coming up with plans to celebrate this welcome turn of events when Holly shows up and steals Art away for the evening. Jimmy stays up all night waiting for Art to return when, in the light of the full moon, he changes into a beautiful young woman. When Art opens the door to see this naked young girl sitting on his floor they both panic and Jimmy runs away. Jimmy wanders the street naked and is found by none other than Shonach and Noera who are shocked not only because this girl looks just like the mythical Seira, but because she turns out to be Jimmy. Could Jimmy actually be Benjamin, the child of Seira who Shonach and Noera have been searching for and whom Shonach has been dreaming about his entire life?

For those of you who were hoping that the second volume of this series would be less confusing than the first, I have some unfortunate new for you: it isn't. As a series, there is a lot going on here: there are mermaids who live on the moon and look like humans, alternate world histories, legendary lovers and their progeny, a coming apocalypse, mysterious characters with questionable motivations, and, of course, love triangles that get in the way of everything. This really wouldn't be a problem if it was all executed well, but this is clumsy at best.

This issue starts out with a rapid-fire progression where almost all of the activity is covered in the first third of the volume, leaving the other two-thirds to be bogged down by a nearly endless amount of expository dialog. It's almost as if SHIMIZU went out of her way to avoid action after a while. In fact, there are a handful of things that happen �off screen� that the characters will be talking about freely, but will just leave you wondering if you missed something. In a manga where such attention needs to be paid to an increasingly busy concept, to actually have to second-guess the content itself in places is just sloppy.

However, while the execution of these first volumes sets the groundwork for a series that is adequate at best, there are hints that things may start to look a little better down the line. Moon Child has been clumsy so far, but it is clearly leading up to something. Only time will tell if this series will find its footing, and if that something was worth the time. So unless you already know that you will love this title, I suggest that you get your moon-mermaid/sci-fi/shojo u/love triangle fix elsewhere.

Mania Grade: C-
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: CMX
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 190
ISBN: 1-4012-0826-6
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Moon Child