Translucent Vol. #03 (

By:Greg Hackmann
Review Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Release Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kazuhiro Okamoto
Translated by:Heidi Plechl
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
In this volume, Shizuka deals with a nosy new doctor, a friend's emotional wedding, and her growing crush on classmate Mamoru Tadami. While the Translucent Syndrome brings many complications into her life, Shizuka is determined to follow her dreams, support her friends, and live a fairly normal life... despite the odd problems that life throws at her.

The Review
Shizuka's acting career continues to make small strides in this volume of Translucent, as she earns the attention of a noted actress and tries to help an elderly neighbor recover from her daughter's disappearance. Her relationship with Mamoru is moving forward as slow as ever in the meantime, even as Dr. Takazawa decides to take matters into her own hands and literally push the two closer together. However, we do see the first shades of jealousy and complexity in their relationship during the book's closing chapter, when Mamoru's sister decides to use him as a prop on a group date.

With the last volume shifting the story focus more to Translucent's supporting cast, this collection sees the spotlight swing back to the core trio of Shizuka, Mamoru, and Okouchi. The narrative still manages to cap off a couple of last volume's dangling plotlines, such as Koichi's and Keiko's wedding, but the emphasis here is definitely much more on Shizuka's and Mamoru's involvement in these side plots than the last time around. Oddly, the romantic triangle hinted at last volume also goes more-or-less unmentioned in these chapters. I somehow doubt that Okamoto's changed his mind about the idea, so it does feel a little bit like he's just clumsily sidestepping the whole issue while he decides which way he's going to go with it.

Overall, apart from Okamoto trying to wedge in a couple of uncharacteristically crude jokes, the third volume of Translucent is basically more of the same episodic, lightly-comedic melodrama that we've seen in the last two installments. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it's not really in Translucent's style to rush in big story changes. On the flip side, though, some of the story's weaknesses are still at play here -- would it kill Mamoru to act his age? -- although frankly I can't imagine anyone who's read the last two volumes suddenly getting turned off by these things now.

Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: All
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 9.95
Pages: 200
ISBN: 1-59307-679-7
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Translucent