Translucent Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Translated by:Heidi Plechl
What They Say
Mamoru and Shizuka finally go on an official date, while Okouchi - their friend and the student body president - decides to be a pushy cupid. Meanwhile, and a trip to the beach leads to some heartbreaking moments.
This second volume opens with Shizuka facing a setback to her acting career, having just failed an audition over criticisms of her acting range. Upon hearing this, Okouchi decides to take it upon herself to meddle in Shizuka's affairs by arranging a date between her and a reluctant Mamoru in the hopes of cheering Shizuka up. Despite Okouchi's constant intervention by way of dropkicking Mamoru, he still manages to commit one dating faux pas after another. Nevertheless, Mamoru's carefree attitude ultimately wins over Shizuka, and the date's outcome makes their future as a couple all the more certain.
Before long, Mamoru's feelings for Shizuka become patently obvious to those around him, despite his claims to the contrary. Their youthful enthusiasm begins spilling over into their acquaintances, driving Koichi and Keiko to reconsider the future of their own relationship while Dr. Takazawa plots a way to bring Shizuka and Mamoru closer together. And since no romantic comedy would be complete without the requisite love triangle, Okamoto takes the opportunity early on in this volume to plant the seeds for a potential rivalry over Mamoru's affections.
For me, Shizuka's ineffable personality was the biggest draw of the first volume; so seeing this volume's increased concentration on Translucent's supporting cast came as a bit of a mixed blessing. Some of these secondary characters benefit from this extra opportunity for character development, while others simply get additional time to remind me why I disliked them in the first place. Mamoru's gratingly childish behavior is highlighted all the more here as his relationship with Shizuka continues to develop, even in spite of his completely immature attitude toward her. (Abandoning Shizuka in the middle of a date to buy plastic toys in bulk is just the tip of the iceberg.) On the other hand, Okouchi's presence in this volume takes a nicely comedic turn when she enthusiastically -- and often violently -- installs herself as a third wheel in Shizuka's and Mamoru's relationship.
Despite the slight dip in quality that this change in focus brings about, Translucent is still largely the same light-hearted slice-of-life comedy at its core. Readers who enjoyed the first volume will likely find a lot of the same things to like in this second volume.
Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
Orientation: Right to Left