Kizuna Vol. #08 (Mania.com)

By:Danielle Van Gorder
Review Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2007



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kazuma Kodaka
Translated by:Chan
Adapted by:

What They Say
Romantic tensions threaten to boil over as the Kyoto honeymoon adventure continues! First, Kai is unrelenting in his quest to get some "alone time" with Masa, but the burly bodyguard spurns Kai's advances for reasons unknown. Meanwhile, the newlyweds Ranmaru and Kei take every opportunity to consummate their love during the holiday retreat, and the sights and sounds of their coupling only serve to drive Kai deeper into despair. Will a frustrated Kai be able to make his wish come true?

The Review
Kai and Masa have finally admitted their feelings for each other, but that doesn't seem to be helping their relationship progress. Frustrated by the lack of a physical relationship, Kai turns to Ran for advice. After a long date, things seem to be moving in the right direction when Kai has a flashback to a past traumatic event and has a panic attack. Two steps forward, one step back seems to be the norm for these two.

He once again turns to Ran for advice, which leads to the two taking up swords again in a kendo match. Both are rather out of condition, so they have to train - and refrain from other activities, much to Kei's dismay. Ran takes his training seriously, but he still has a long way to go to regain his former level of expertise. Despite this, his return to kendo garners more attention than he had planned on, and the match is packed with onlookers and media.

Ran hides it well, but his uncertainty about the outcome is hard to handle. Luckily, Kei is there to support him. The match itself is fun to watch play out - while action scenes aren't Kodaka's strongest point, it makes for a nice change of pace from the way the story has been playing out, and allows the four primary characters to explore parts of themselves (and see parts of others) that were otherwise hidden. Ran and Kai, especially, realize their own inner strengths and act on those. While not a story for everybody, Kizuna is somewhat unique in the number of borders it crosses as the story progresses. Romance, action, drama, sports - it's always something new and different, which keeps the story from getting dull. The character development never seems to stop, giving the reader new insights into who these people are, making the characters feel like something more than two-dimensional drawings on paper.



Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Be Beautiful
MSRP: 15.99
Pages: 206
ISBN: 978-1-933440-15-6
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Kizuna