Mania Grade: A-
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- Art Rating: B-
- Packaging Rating: C+
- Text/Translatin Rating: A
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Released By: CPM Press
- MSRP: 15.99
- Pages: 200
- ISBN: 1-58664-957-4
- Orientation: Right to Left
Kizuna Vol. #02
By Megan Lavey
October 18, 2004
Release Date: October 27, 2004
© CPM Press
Adapted by:What They Say
Ranmaru and Kei were not always the perfect couple. There was a time when Ranmaru was an up-and-coming Kendo star and Kei was a shy and timid scholar. What brought these two different souls together and how did their love grow so strong? Meanwhile, an ememy of the Yakuza abducts Kei's half-brother, Kai Sagano, and it's up to Masa to rescue him. Will Kai and Masa reveal their true feelings towards one another before it's too late?The ReviewPackaging:
This cover is a bit more eye-catching than the first volume. It has Kei about to kiss Ranmaru, with both of them dressed in winter clothes and set against a blue background. A parental advisory warning is on the book's front, but any nature to the volume is given away with the picture of a naked Kei and Ranmaru locked in an embrace on the back cover. I had to laugh at the description of Kei being a shy scholar, because he never comes off that way to me.Artwork:
We've got a mixed bag here with art. The character themselves are drawn pretty well. There are some pretty explicit drawings here, but it's amusing to see how they deal with male genetalia. Nothing is left to your imagination. The layout of the book has improved a lot, and it's a lot easier to follow the action now.Text:
This was a solid read with no noticeable grammar or spelling glitches. The moderenization that was present in the first volume is now gone.Review (please note that contents of a review may contain spoilers):
I wasn't expecting much out of Kizuna after the first volume. Well, I was proven wrong with this second volume.
Two standalone stories make up this volume, one involving Kei and Ranmaru's complete history and the second revolving around Masa and Kai. Both of these stories were told well and were very riveting.
The story with Kei and Ranmaru takes us back to when they're first introduced in high school. Ranmaru is a lot cockier than he is when we first meet him, and he is out to be a great kendo champ. Meanwhile Kei, a transfer student, gets on his last nerve. Not only does he flirt with Ran all the time, but he's also his equal in kendo - despite never having formal lessons.
Ranmaru wants Kei to train with him, but doesn't get his way. The boys lose touch as Kei supports his dying mother. They come back together in college and their story roughly follows the outline of the events that were referred to in volume 1. We see their relationship unfold and are given the backstory that we desperately needed in that volume. About the only thing it doesn't match up with is the very first story in volume 1. The reader is given the impression that Ran and Kei don't have a history before that encounter, yet it is shown that they do have one here.
The most touching parts of the book center around the accident that leaves Ran paralyzed, and how Kei's love for him help brings him back. The scenes between them at this point are extremely touching, and I love how Ran never blamed Kei for any of his problems.
The second story about Kai and Masa gives us a lot more insight into Masa's personality and Kai's devotion to him. It also gives us a look at the ruthless nature of the yakuza business. Even though this book does involve sex like the first one, there's some actions going on in the second story that readers may feel uncomfortable with.Comments
I wish that this volume of the Kizuna series had come first. In fact, if you didn't like the first volume, read this one, then go back and read volume one. This isn't the first time a technique like this is used in manga (Rurouni Kenshin also does it), but in this case, the characters are more likeable and you get a better grasp on the events that take place in volume one and why they take place if you have the backstory provided in volume two going in.