Wanderer, the Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Studio Ironcat
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 194
  • ISBN: 1-929090-96-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Wanderer, the Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     July 14, 2004
Release Date: April 01, 2004


Wanderer, the Vol.#02
© Studio Ironcat


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kakinouchi Narumi
Translated by:Ted Wax
Adapted by:

What They Say
Fledgeling vampire Sei Kodo continues his quest to locate the one who awakened him - the love of his life, The Vampire Yui!
His quest has taken him to a prestigious music school, where strange occurances have happened centering around a musical a prodigy named Marie.

Is Marie a Vampire like Kodo? And what is his connection wiht Yui?

The Review
Packaging:
Ironcat uses Kakinouchi's original cover here with Sei in front of a large quarter moon taking up most of the image. While the first volume was on a matted finish Quarter Moon has a glossy cover.
Logo Check!! (2003 Megs)... as the original logo was in English Ironcat took advantage of the situation and simply kept it intact and added a subtitle underneath the series title. The printing is a shade dark but it still looks good. There are also a few alingment problems here and there but nothing serious. I also like that Ironcat made the effort to keep kanji/kana on the chapter headers for this series, very few studios do this and I for one really appreciate it. This volume has an ato-gaki with character info with some interesting comments from Kakinouchi.

Artwork:
Kakinouchi's designs are pretty stylish but I tend to get characters confused quite often. Her lines are light and almost whispy but with her unique use of tone for detail shading she really does not need to lean to much on her inking. Her backgrounds can look pretty impressive but she does not use them often, relying instead on her layout to present a tone and mood for her story. I love how she uses light and darkness in some of her panels to show state of mind for her characters as it really works with the eerie slightly angsty feel of this title.

Orientation/SFX:
This volume is right-to-left in a B6 sized GN! Some people might wonder about the size but like ADV has done for their A5 and shinsho sized series Ironcat has decided to keep original size aspects. I wish this was done more often. SFX are all translated with small subs. I really like this a lot. The subs are small enough that they never are much of a distraction and never compromise Kakinouchi's art.

Text:
The text is pretty good. With a good amount of the characters being from the Kansai area Ironcat decided to give the dialogue a "Texas drawl." I do not mind too much, but I could not help but wonder if some of the text was actual dialogue or added "drawl."

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With every passing night, Sei's feeling that Marie may hold the key to his search for his love gets stronger. This feeling is not new, of course. In previous episodes he has had the same suspicion when following leads that took him as far away as Europe, but there is no doubt in his mind that this time there is something more to it. And his classmate, Marie, might hold the answer.

In volume one, Marie started to show off his abilities to Sei, but here Kakinouchi decides to use this volume to work on his character instead of just making him another monster of the month. On the surface Marie may just seem like a spoiled brat that has the student body under his thumb, because of his relationship to the new dean and in part to his musical talent. And while he may try very hard to have that side of his personality dominate when he is around others, he occasionally slips showing off a side to him that is full of despair and loneliness. This second suppressed persona tends to come out to members of his close circle and is starting to appear before Sei more and more. Kakinouchi has Marie suffering in a similar way as Sei. His time has stopped (at the lips of the Vampire Yui) and he waits for that one person he holds dear. Unfortunately, he is also haunted by other factors in his past. His relationship with his mother, in particular, reveals some of the reasoning behind his unique personality and his difficulty socializing.

Sei cannot let something like that hold him back though. He feels his chance could be in his grasp and at any chance he can take to get closer he moves. He actually gets so close he needs to be rescued by those he searches for. Yet, as one can expect, he was not able to find Yui after all. Instead his curiosity almost cost him his afterlife and eventually found him having to help Marie. There they were, both waiting and searching for others that may have not looking for them.

Comments
Drama and suspense take hold in this single chapter volume. While there really was not much character development (at least not for the main character) or much story progression, what was present was very stylish and entertaining. Sei's troubles are not hard to relate to. This teen is in love with someone he has not seen for ages and he will do almost anything to meet her again. The way he goes about things, though, blends the laid back attitude of a Kansai kid with cool romantic vampire goodness. Seriously, Sei would be a great character even if he was not a vampire; being a vampire only made him better.

After taking in a few volumes, I can easily see this series going on like this for a while.

Then there are his classmates. Everywhere Sei goes they are all the same. But how they react to him is what stands out. Some will take his attitude as a challenge and will aggressively try to force him out of their class, campus, town or country. Others will just be intimidated by his laid back attitude. Not much fazes Sei and that can be unnerving to those with esteem issues. Those who do not fall into these basic categories tend to get Sei?s attention. He will either love you or obsess over you, either way he will not be out of their sights for too long. With characters like these why worry about a plot, right?!
The romance, drama, humor and tension is nicely done and as a protagonist Sei is a hoot of a character. Knowing that there are only three volumes I wonder how Kakinouchi will wrap this up. There is so much room for potential and with the plot not really progressing much I wonder what will be in store. Right now The Wanderer is really just going here and there taking its readers on a journey similar to others we have read before, but that vampire romance and that kid from Kansai there is a reason for us to join this search wherever it may take us. Just remember, beware taking rides from strangers; your trip may not be someone else?s.

Fun.

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