la Esperanca Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 232
  • ISBN: 1569709327
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

la Esperanca Vol. #02

By Megan Meinhard     October 18, 2005
Release Date: January 31, 2006

la Esperanca Vol.#02
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Chigusa Kawai
Translated by:Sachiko Sato
Adapted by:

What They Say
As Georges and Robert continue to become more at ease with each other, Georges' long-time friend Henri begins to question his own relationship with Georges. Henri carries strong feelings for him, but has accepted that he will never be able to get beyond friendship and has devoted himself to being Georges' protector.

Jealous and apprehensive of Robert's growing closeness with him, Henri sees Robert as a rival for Georges' affections. But when he realizes that Georges is slowly changing through his affection for Robert, Henri sees that Robert may be the one to succeed at breaking down Georges' barrier.

The Review
In this volume, we move beyond Georges and Robert to focus on some of their classmates. The first of these is Henri, a close friend of Georges who was introduced in the first volume. The first story in volume two goes into detail about how frustrating it can be for Henri as a friend of Georges. He has always wanted to get beyond Georges' invisible emotional barrier, so it upsets him that Robert has managed to make more progress than he has in the short amount of time Robert's been at the school.

The second chapter has Georges getting caught up in a charity group with shady ties. Though Robert tries to warn him against trusting people so easily, Georges can't help but admire the way Chris, a member of the group, seems so dedicated to his work. He finds it impossible to believe that Chris has less than noble intentions, but Robert is right and Chris' motives for helping the poor are darker than they appear at first glance. As Georges gets more and more involved in the group, even going so far as to try to use his ties to Frederic to help in the cause, Robert gets more and more caught up in things. He tries to tell himself he doesn't care, but he can't take his eyes off Georges.

Finally, we focus on two of Georges' classmates, Erwin and Joshua. One day a girl named Cecile bumps into Erwin as he's trying to get back over the wall of the school. Entranced, she instantly falls in love with him, but a friend of hers points out that she doesn't know anything about him and, seeing as how he goes to an all boys school, he could swing the other way. Cecile refuses to believe it until she sneaks into the boys dorm to return Erwin's glasses and finds him and Joshua in a compromising position. Her reaction of shock and horror sets Erwin off and he tells her to get out, crushing her even more. But, as it turns out, Erwin and Joshua don't have that sort of relationship after all--Joshua is gay, but he likes someone else--so perhaps the happy ending Cecile dreamed of isn't so unlikely after all. And as for Joshua, first loves can be difficult, especially when it's an older man.

Though it might have been nice to have some follow up on the "preview" chapter from the previous volume, the series is improved from the added scope. Erwin, Joshua, and Cecile had the least amount of time, but I found their two chapters the most engaging. Perhaps because it's a rarity to have a girl in such a prominent role--even for a single chapter--in the series like this. Or it might be because Joshua's love issues came across more honest and less melodramatic than Georges and Robert's. In any case, this volume builds on the previous one quite nicely, and it should be interesting to see where the series goes from here.


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