Yurara Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Release Date: Sunday, September 30, 2007
Translated by:JN Productions and Heidi Vivolo
Adapted by:JN Productions and Heidi Vivolo
What They Say
When Yurara's guardian spirit picks up a ghostly stalker, she vanishes, leaving Yurara to deal with the paranormal pervert on her own!
Like many second volumes in series that rely on episodes rather than an overarching plot, this volume of Yurara is more of the same, only the characters deepen a bit as we learn more about them. Mai in particular gets most of the spotlight, as the second half of the book introduces Yurara and the reader to his family, then has Yurara's alter ego / guardian spirit deal with a ghost out of his past, leading to some good dramatic scenes.
The extra character depth is welcome, but it comes at a cost. The clever comedy bits of the first volume are scarcer here, though they still exist. The best moment is, once again, one of the teriffic role / costume morphs that were so great the first time around. The more serious tone of this volume might have signaled that the series was making up its mind to be a serious story with comic relief, instead of the uneasy hybrid of comedy and gravity we saw in the early chapters. But that isn't quite the case. The two elements don't quite come together; the balance - or possibly the imbalance - is different, but still doesn't work consistently.
But on the credit side of the ledger, the locations do open up a little more, and we see less and less of the school, which is in this instance a good move. And when the drama starts going all out about midway through the book the material is the best we've seen yet, at least as far as the serious content goes. Best of all, the super little insert comics are still there, as funny as ever.
When all's said and done, I think I'd rank this slightly above volume one, but not quite high enough for a B+. The same flaws are there, but the stories click a bit better and the strong finish raises the bar a little. So far Yurara is a series that has a few things going for it and not quite as many things going against it. There's some obvious talent at work that just isn't firing on all cylinders for whatever reason, but seems like it could suddenly right itself at any time and get really good. But it's not a long series and the clock is ticking. If it's going to make its move, it'll have to come soon.
Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
Orientation: Right to Left