la Esperanca Vol. #07 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 232
  • ISBN: 1569708304
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

la Esperanca Vol. #07

By Patricia Beard     May 23, 2007
Release Date: June 07, 2007

la Esperanca Vol.#07
© Digital Manga Publishing

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

What They Say
Thanks to Verda showing up with Alan, Georges is overcome with grief at the thought that he is nothing more than a replacement for Grace. Will Robert be able to convince Georges that their relationship has meaning?

The Review
At the end of volume #6, Kawai sensei promised to tie up all the loose ends of the story for this last volume of La Experanca. She has done so and it's not with the prettiest or tidiest of bows.

There are two major questions that need to be resolved or satisfactorily explained. The first involves the relationship of Georges to Grace Colail. While the reader may know what Grace is to George, the "how" of this relationship is at the heart of the matter. Kawai sensei very successfully presents a scenario which is likely and believable.

Less successful is the resolution of Georges' dilemma over Robert. In the final volumes, Georges is thrown into emotional despair over the recognition of his love for Robert and the assumption that Robert only regards him as a substitute for Grace. This despair motivates the action of the final volume � the travel to Verda in a driving snowstorm to meet with the one person who can provide Georges with an identity. Georges' interpretation of the information that he is given drives him deeper into despair and out into stormy night. He is, of course, saved by Robert, who has followed Georges to Verda. While hospitalized, Georges confronts Robert with his new found knowledge, and it is Robert who comforts Georges with a confession that is absurd and unmotivated by the story. Kawai sensei tells us in the afterword that she had hinted at this in the short story in volume three, but Robert's actions, attitude, and interaction with Georges do not support this resolution. This was an puzzling relationship throughout the series and the ending does nothing to enlighten us. There is a happy ending, just not a convincingly motivated one.

After a promising start, La Esperanca broke faith with readers by not knowing what it wanted to be or how it wanted to get there. The initial volumes set up the premise and then did nothing to pursue it. Interesting ancillary characters were introduced and almost nothing was done with them, never a good sign. Only after four volumes did the reader see any narrative movement at all. There was a lot of potential, but poor storytelling likely cut short this series.

This is a series where the parts are greater than the whole. The overall story is unfulfilling and disappointing. Any satisfaction to be gained out of La Esperanca will be found in individual scenes and arcs. One bright spot was the artwork that definitely improved over the years. It became less wound-up and embellished, the figures more confident and at ease in their skins.

The double rating reflects the volume/overall rating.


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