By Yua Kotegawa
Published in the U.S. by ADV Manga
Slugline: Sometimes you have to run for your life. Sometimes you have to run for others' lives.
This is an early review. I haven't mentioned it here, but I am enjoying another ADV Manga title, Anne Freaks. So when I saw this book, titled as from the same creator, I swiped it off the freebie table at a retailer convention I was attending.
It is a standalone volume, focusing on Chiko, the popular girl at school, and Bando, who is not. Chiko finds an abandoned cell phone, but before she can return it, it rings. The voice on the other end tells her that she has only minutes to reach someone before they commit suicide. Bando ends up following her, and they begin a run through the Tokyo night.
This is a fairly serious title, and other than a few moments of fan service, it is played straight. Chiko is fairly easy to understand, and even though she is popular, by the same token she is empathic, concerned how others feel. She thinks that the people that are committing suicide are idiots, but still feels driven to stop them. A bunch of contradictions are wrapped up in her, but still understandable. Bando on the other hand, seems a lot more opaque to me all through the volume, but she knows one thing: she wants to see it to the end. A very good read.
Sometimes the art seems posed, and the action shots feel more static than I think they should be. Most of the time it isn't noticeable, but there is a splash page toward the culmination of the book that was especially jarring for me. But other than that? Good.
Line is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.