Mania Grade: A
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B
- Text/Translatin Rating: B
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 8.99
- Pages: 192
- ISBN: 978-1-4215-1668-4
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: Fairy Cube
Fairy Cube Vol. #01
By Danielle Van Gorder
July 09, 2008
Release Date: May 06, 2008
Fairy Cube Vol.#01
© Viz Media
Translated by:Gemma Collinge
Adapted by:Kristine BlachereWhat They Say
Ian used to just see dead people. Now he is one. Trapped inside his own body by the Fairy Cube, Ian must now figure out how to stop the devious spirit Tokage from taking over his life, stealing his girl, and ruining any chance he ever had of resurrection.The ReviewPackaging
The cover here is almost painfully misleading - the cute font used for the title and the even more painfully adorable fairy on the front don't really clue in the reader to the level of horror and gore in this book. I can't help but think that some readers are going to be in for a huge surprise when they start reading this. The print quality is fairly average, with sharp lines and dark blacks, but there are quite a few pages where the screentone reproduction looks off. Art
Kaori Yuki's art is going to be familiar to most readers from her previously released works such as Godchild and Angel Sanctuary. Her characters have round faces, rounder eyes, and incredibly detailed hair and clothes - in fact, her art is incredibly detailed overall, with some truly stunning backgrounds. While most pages are fairly busy overall, she makes excellent use of negative space in places to really highlight characters or events. Emotion positively bleeds off the page, be it innocent charm or horrified grief. Yuki's art has always been impressive, but her recent work is simply stunning.Text/SFX:
All sound effects are replaced by an English translation in a font that closely matches the original. For the most part this is very well done, to the point where it's difficult to tell that the translation wasn't the original effect. The translation flows very smoothly, and I didn't note any rough points that detracted from the story.Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
A series of mysterious deaths has been dubbed The Fairy Murders for the wing-like spray of blood stretching from the victim's backs. Police have no clues on who the perpetrator is, but it's clear that there's more to them than meets the eye. This is the city that Rin has returned to after many years. She's back in high school with her old friend Ian, but things between them aren't what they used to be.
Ian hasn't had the easiest of lives - he can see fairies but nobody believes him, so he's been given the name Ian the Liar. His mother left them when he was young, and his father, fearing that Ian would leave just like his mother did, terrorizes and abuses Ian in a bid to control him and keep him by his side. As if all that wasn't enough, Ian has an "other," a spirit that only he can see that looks exactly like Ian, but with red hair and green eyes. This other, Tokage, hates Ian and is invisible to everyone else, but can still manipulate others to make Ian's life hell.
Tokage's goal is to destroy Ian utterly and take over his body. When fate gives him the opportunity to do just that, Ian is left an insubstantial spirit, capable of only watching as Tokage takes his body, his girlfriend, and his entire life. In his search for answers, Ian is transported to another world - the fairy world - with a fairy named Ainsel who hates humans. Their experiences there convince her to lend Ian her powers in exchange for his soul so he can fight back against Tokage and reclaim what's rightfully his.Comments
Ian is a fantastic character. His outwardly sunny nature hides a deep, deep pain, but despite his personal tragedies he's still willing and able to look out for others. His actions in the fairy world really reveal a lot about his character, and his willingness to give up even his soul for revenge added still more depth - he's an extremely complex character who makes a compelling protagonist. The other major characters are just as well realized, which made this a treat to read. I'm not sure at this point where the story is going to go, but it's going to be a heck of a ride.
The biggest risk this title faces is that it's going to be picked up by folks thinking it's something completely different than what it is - and that it's not going to be picked up by the very people who read these sorts of shoujo books. With the abuse, torture, murder, and fairly extensive gore, this isn't a light and fluffy kind of story by any stretch of the imagination, but that's exactly what the title and cover art seem to convey.
This isn't any kind of Disney fairy tale, not by a long shot. It brings to mind the dark and terrifying Sidhe of the British Isles, or the Snow White of pre-Victorian days whose stepmother had red-hot iron shoes strapped to her feet and was forced to dance until she died. Readers looking for a sweet or romantic story are advised to go elsewhere - this is a title far more likely to appeal to fans of gothic horror. Fans of darker stories are advised to not be fooled by the cover - this is exactly what you've been waiting for.