Please, Save My Earth Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-59116-059-6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Please, Save My Earth Vol. #01

By Mike Dungan     December 17, 2004
Release Date: October 01, 2003


Please, Save My Earth Vol.#01
© Viz Media


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Saki Hiwatari
Translated by:Lillian Olsen
Adapted by:

What They Say
Life's hard when you're shy, harder still when you move from your quiet hometown to the bustle of a big city and a new high school. Poor Alice also has to cope with being regularly harassed by the bratty neighbor boy, Rin. Her life turns upside-down when she's stuck babysitting Rin and the annoying chore ends in unexpected tragedy. What Alice doesn't realize is there could be a greater force at work than unhappy chance!

The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Alice is a shy high school girl originally from HOkkaido. Her family has just moved to Tokyo and she's still trying to fit in. The neighbor boy is Rin, a 7-year-old brat who loves to torment her. One of her encounters with Rin actually leads to her breaking the ice with some of the girls in her class, allowing her to finally make some good friends. Alice has always felt a connection to nature and loves to talk to plants. In the school garden, she accidentally spies two boys in her class having what appears to be a romantic interlude. Embarrassed, she leaves but is seen by the boys, who just know she's jumped to the wrong conclusion.

At home, Alice is asked to babysit Rin on Saturday, not something she looks forward to. She takes him to the zoo, and all day is a running battle between his mean pranks and her attempts to avoid them. While she's with Rin, she meets the two boys she saw in the school garden, who try to set the record straight. They share the same dreams, and in the dreams, they are always the same two people. The odd thing is that one of the boys, Issei, is a woman named Enju in the dream, and the other boy, Jinpachi, is always a man named Gyokuren. In the dream, Enju is in love with Gyokuren, but Gyokuren is in love with another woman. When Alice saw them the first time, it was the morning after they dreamed that Enju and Gyokuren had made love, which explains the awkwardness she witnessed. They explain that in the dream, Mokuren is a beautiful, intelligent woman that everyone loves. She is the woman that Gyokuren is in love with, but Mokuren loves only Shion. He's intelligent, but socially awkward and has a terrible temper. There are 7 people in the dream, and they all live in some sort of complex that has a view of Earth in the sky. Jinpachi and Issei believe it's some sort of lab on the moon. Jinpachi and Issei think that if they share the same dreams, then there must be 5 other people who also share that same dream and they're trying to find them.

Once Alice takes Rin home, he goes into a jealous rage and climbs on the balcony railing, 15 floors above the street, and throws a gift Alice just gave him to the street below. In her anger, she slaps him and he falls. Miraculously, he survives because he fell in a group of trees that cushioned his fall, though he is now in a coma. At school, Alice is shunned by the students as the rumors fly. Only Jinpachi, who is beginning to harbor feelings for her, will still be her friend. In a wonderfully moving scene, he comforts her as she begins to cry tears of remorse while everyone looks on.

When Rin recovers, his attitude towards Alice changes. He's decided. He's going to marry Alice and demands from both families that she agree to it. When Alice is told of Rin's demand, she collapses and has a dream. It's the same dream Jinpachi and Issei have been having, but in the dream, she's Mokuren.

Meanwhile, Rin suddenly begins displaying psychic powers, including levitation and psychokinesis. He begins using his powers to bully a gang member into doing some favors for him.

Comments
Saki Hiwatari began writing Please Save My Earth in 1986, but interestingly, she set it a few years into the future, 1991. The twin stories with their twin casts can be a little confusing at times, especially when you're tyring to remember which Earth character is connected to which Moon character and the relationships between both sets of characters. Despite the drama, there is a great sense of humor as well. Watching Alice blush as she considers the possibility of Jinpachi and Issei as a couple is hilarious. Her art is somewhat dated, but still enjoyable. Some of the characters have rather severe haircuts, but everyone has a distinctive look. The faces are somewhat flat and the craniums are huge, but otherwise, her characters look fine.

The art reproduction is rather lacking, with poorly done screentones and blacks that bleed. On the other hand, all sound effects are translated and edited into English. The adaptation by Fred Burke is fine, not getting in the way of the story. Extras include a page of editor's comments in the back of the book where some of the more obscure references are explained, and a page that talks about the different flowers seen in the book, and what they represent. The cover is surprisingly dark for a shoujo title, with Alice in her dark blue school uniform, resting on the Earth, as she floats in space. There is a purple border at the top and bottom of the cover. The back of the book has a small picture of Rin with the rather poorly written back cover copy in a white rectangle.

Hiwatari's combination of romance, science-fiction, humor and mystery blend together to make a classic shoujo title. While the art reproduction could be a little better, the treatment of the title otherwise is first rate and should make any PSME fan happy. I recommend it, but be ready to take notes to keep all the characters straight.

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