Words of Devotion Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-805-7
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Words of Devotion

Words of Devotion Vol. #02

By Danielle Van Gorder     January 22, 2008
Release Date: December 30, 2007

Words of Devotion Vol.#02
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Keiko Konno
Translated by:Ken Wakita
Adapted by:

What They Say
Things between the second-year high school classmates Shinya Ohtani and Miyako Tachibana just seemed to click. They and their girlfriends all ended up becoming close friends. With Ohtani still maintaining a no-kissing policy with his girlfriend, he's starting to wonder if it's really the right way to date. When Tachibana says that he sympathizes and understands how Ohtani feels, Ohtani starts to think of Tachibana as more than just a friend... maybe something more than his own girlfriend...!

The Review
The second and final volume of the series goes back to the beginning, to explore how Shinya and Tachibana's relationship first began. They're friends who chose to hang out together to smoke during lunch rather than spend the time with their girlfriends. They're close enough that when Shinya ops to invite Tachibana and his girlfriend along on his date, his girlfriend asks him point blank if he and Tachibana have something going on.

That offhand comment gets Shinya thinking about his relationship with his best friend, and he starts to notice that perhaps things between them aren't strictly normal. Things rapidly progress to even less normal, but Shinya never really grasps what it is he feels for Tachibana, and why. Their girlfriends only serve to confuse the issue more. The romance feels surprisingly authentic in the way it develops between the two of them, complete with clumsy attempts at intimacy.

The dynamic between the two main characters is an interesting one, since it seems like Shinya is the one who thinks, while Tachibana is the one who does. This is influenced by the fact that the story is told from Shinya's perspective, but even taking that into consideration, the contrast between the two is fairly dramatic. You never really get the chance to get into Tachibana's head, either, which puts the reader on the same level as Shinya himself. Knowing how the story ends because of the first volume removes some of the frustration that this might otherwise provide to the reader. The return to the present in the last half of the book has some humor as Sho and Al work though some difficulties with their long-distance relationship.

Readers who enjoyed the first volume will know what to expect, but anyone interested in how a story is crafted is likely to find an unexpected treat here, due to the interesting way this one is structured. Overall, this is a much better work than the sometimes clumsy art might indicate. It's not a masterpiece, but it still manages to stand out from the crowd.


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