From up Above Vol. #01 (Mania.com)

By:Patricia Beard
Review Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009
Release Date: Sunday, December 09, 2007

Cute and charming with a story line that has a lot of potential - except there isn't anymore!

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Sakuya Kurekoshi
Translated by: Melanie Schoen
Adapted by: Melanie Schoen

What They Say
Yuuto is an ordinary run-of-the-mill high school student. But one day he gets struck by lightning, and things start to take a turn. A strange person, who goes by the name "Yadzuchi" shows up and starts following Yuuto around. Yadzuchi turns out to be a ghost with mysterious spiritual powers, and proclaims (insists!) that Yuuto is the reincarnation of Princess Aki from a thousand years ago. Now, Yadzuchi won't leave Yuuto alone until he remembers who he really is!

The Review
Packaging:
This is DMP's standard trim accompanied by print quality that is clear and crisp.  The volume slip cover is of thunder god Kazuchi and high school student and reincarnated miko, Yuuto.  The main cast of characters, which now includes Yuuto's friend, Takumi, and the snake god, Yato, are assembled on the back cover illustration.  There is a one page author afterword where Kurokoshi makes her apologies for the "to be continued" state of the series. The usual DMP/June advertisements fill out the volume.

Artwork:
Kurokoshi's art is very well-suited to the tone of this story.  There's a fluidity and ease in the style that allows the comedic chibis to coexist alongside their more serious counterparts. And Kurokoshi does these funny bits very well.  Panel flow is good and the tone work adds to the visual interest of the page in a balanced way.

Text/Translation:
The text reads well with no clumsiness and each of the characters maintains a distinctive voice.  Sfx are either replaced or subbed. 

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
High school student Yuuto awakes after being struck by lightning, greeted by a cousin he never knew he had.  And he doesn't have one.  This "cousin", Kazuchi, is really a thunder god who has pursued Yuuto (and tampered with the memories of his family) in order to regain his "mana" or real name that will allow him to escape servitude to Princess Aki, whose modern embodiment is, of course, Yuuto. It's up to Yuuto to remember Kazuchi's mana in order to get Kazuchi out of his life. Until he can remember, Yuuto is responsible for supplying Kazuchi with life sustaining energy, in this case, that supplied by a kiss.

Adding complication to this uneasy and often funny coexistence, is Yuuto's friend, Takumi, whom Kazuchi recognizes as associating with an otherworldly being such as himself. The reader is treated to the backstory of Takumi and Yuuto's friendship and just how this other being became involved.  The volume closes with Kazuchi confronting this unseen demon.

Comments:
It was very disappointing to find that, as of this date, there have been no subsequent volumes of From Up Above, which had been released in October 2007. The lack of a volume number seems to indicate that there won't be anymore, and although we have seen series that are issued with slightly different titles and no volume number, I don't think that's operative here.

Any sex here is implied.  There is more going on between Takumi and Yato than is displayed, but there is nothing that would not justify the 16+ age rating that DMP rated this book.

It's a shame. This is cute, funny, has a story to tell and was telling it well. The grade reflects this and not the incomplete status. However, with no additions or completion in sight, it's difficult to recommend.



Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
MSRP: 12.95
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1569707531
Size: A5
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: From up Above