Yurara Vol. #04 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 8.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-4215-1353-9
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Yurara

Yurara Vol. #04

By Ben Leary     April 16, 2008
Release Date: March 04, 2008

Yurara Vol.#04
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Chika Shiomi
Translated by:JN Productions
Adapted by:Heidi Viviolo

What They Say
Now that Yurara and Mei are a couple, Yako has become a shut-in. But Mei seems to have acquired another rival when a beautiful boy from Yurara's past returns!

The Review
The supernatural aspects of Yurara take a backseat in this volume, the series choosing instead to focus on the love tri-tangle that gets more tangled by the minute. In doing so the story turns away from what was initially its main strength. The romantic angle was never anything out of the ordinary, apart from the dual-personality twist that so far hasn't added anything of value. Even so things might have all come together if Yurara had stuck to its guns and let the situation play out. Instead, we get a childhood friend of Yurara's thrown into the mix, which just compounds the problem. (He's also rather annoying, which doesn't help either.)

The diminishing importance of the ghosts is a big loss and the series feels lop-sided without them. For the most part we just get faceless, shapeless shades, ones that are called "evil" but don't seem to be doing any particular harm, and never give me any sense of danger or dread. Without any personality in the ghosts being dealt with, it's impossible to feel any emotional connection to anything that happens to them. At these points the story feels like it's walking in its sleep. The exception, the blessed exception, occurs early on. It's a return to the effective ghost stories we saw earlier in the series, where people we cared about were being helped, and it reminds us of what the series can do at its best.

There are other pluses, too. The comedy isn't entirely gone, even if the effect is a bit weaker; Yurara's reactions are nearly always well-drawn and continue to entertain me. But my favourite part of the series has become the little gag strips from the author's daily life that pop up at welcome moments. It makes me wish the author had done a slice-of-life story instead.

Yurara still hasn't come together yet; in fact, it seems to be more fragmented than ever. It has its good points, and even the love polygon has some effective scenes, but overall the series can't keep its momentum and loses its way too often. I said previously that Yurara was a series that needed to make its move soon if it was going to stand out. The move has come, but it was in the wrong direction.


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