Mania Grade: A-
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B
- Text/Translatin Rating: A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: TOKYOPOP
- MSRP: 9.99
- Pages: 208
- ISBN: 1591826292
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
PitaTen Vol. #03
By Mike Dungan
January 04, 2005
Release Date: May 01, 2004
Translated by:Nan Rymer
Adapted by:What They Say
Calamitous Crushes, Spirited Suspicions and Divine Deception. Ever since he was a little boy, Kotarou has been able to see angels. This has certainly come in handy, since he has one named Misha living next door! But when the angel Sasha descends to Earth, she's a bit flustered by Kotarou's ability to sense her. Sasha also has suspicions about Misha's roommate, Shia. Indeed, what secrets does Shia keep safely tucked inside her raven-topped head? Is she a vampire, a demon, a ghost, or another angel? In the midst of such contemplations, Sasha develops a massive crush on Kotarou's best friend, Takashi! But wait! Can it be that Takashi actually has feelings for...Shia?!The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The last volume ended with the quiet, demure and kind Shia biting Kotarou on the neck and drawing blood from him. Now they're both passed out and Misha's in a panic. While passed out, Kotarou has a dream in which he's a child and meets Shia at a summer festival, where she's very nice to him. Later in the dream, he finds Misha with her wings spread, but she's trapped in a thorny rose bush. Once Misha finally gets both of them home, she helps revive Kotarou, who is still trying to make sense of the dream.
Later, Kotarou goes to Dai-chan's house for a study group. It's a chance for Dai-chan to be his usual overbearing self, but in the midst of the shenanigans, Kotarou learns quite a bit about Dai-chan and what motivates him. It adds some real depth to his character and makes him much less like a buffoon, and more like a real character.
Kotarou discovers that Misha's got her own tests coming up, and she needs to study for them by being as helpful to Kotarou as possible. Of course Misha's version of helpful is nothing but a nuisance to Kotarou. He finally snaps and tells her to leave him alone. Thanks to Shia, though, he's able to make it up to Misha before it's time for her to leave to take her tests.
While she's gone, a new character appears. She's Sasha, and she's another angel. Unlike Misha, though, she's already a full-fledged angel and is good at what she does. She discovers Takashi rushing to school and immediately takes a liking to him. She decides to help him out in any way she can. That includes his romantic intentions towards Shia. She accidentally pushes him a little too far and he blurts out his real feelings to her. Unfortunately, Kotarou overheard, and it creates new feelings inside him when he sees the two of them together. He runs into Sasha and she's amazed to discover that he can see her. She follows him home only to discover him eating dinner with Shia. It's obvious that she knows what Shia is and she begins to cleanse the room of evil. Kotarou defends her, though, and Sasha leaves, though not happily.
Misha finally returns home from her tests, though she still doesn't know the results yet. Due to some bad cooking, everyone in Kotarou's class gets a stomach ache, and it's up to him to play volleyball in school against some very talented players. Misha tries to help, and surprisinly, Kotarou starts to do well. For once, she help is actually helpful, and he's able to have a good time despite the circumstances.Comments
The third volume of Pita-Ten adds more mystery but still manages to be fun. At the moment, the introduction of Sasha looks to be kind of pointless. She's smart, hip and very good as an angel, but she doesn't seem to serve much purpose yet. The growing feelings between all of the major characters is what this volume is all about. It was nice to see Dai-chan get some fleshing out as a character, but Takashi also gets some major development when he has a heart-to-heart talk with Shia. Koge-Donbo's art is as beautiful as ever. She puts great detail into the character's faces and expressions, and the way she poses characters is stunning, really giving the reader a look at the emotions inside them.
The adaptation is as good as ever. Misha's speech is as goofy as ever, but it's completely in character and appropriate. The conversations all read beautifully, keeping the reader immersed in the story instead of trying to figure out what was just said. The art reproduction is about average. It still lacks sharpness, but I've seen much worse from Tokyopop. the front of the book has character profiles and a story synopis, which are both appreciated. There's a page of author's notes and several 4-panel gags strips spread throughout the book. The cover keeps with the practice of a white background, this time with Kotarou in his school uniform. The colors are soft and muted in a pale purple, and it's very effective. The back cover has super-deformed images of Dai-chan, Koboshi and Takashi, all being themselves. The logo is in English but does a very good job of emulating the Japanese logo which was written in katakana.
Pita-Ten continues to grow on me. While the story is about Misha's attempts to be a good guardian angel to Kotarou, it's Shia's story that is most intriguing. It's clear that Koge-Donbo is going somewhere with it, somewhere much darker than where the story started out. There's great comedy, but there's also a gentleness and a melancholy feel that make this a very rich, emotionally rewarding experience. I strongly recommend it.