Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kanna, v.1

by Takeru Kirishima
Published in the U.S. by GoComi

Slugline: Did you know you had to pay child support for a child you had in alternate reality?

Kagura is living the typical life of any student in manga of going to prep school and juggling a job when he wakes up one morning with an eight year old girl sleeping on the futon next to him. Before he can find out much more than her name, Kanna, a female co-worker shows up to remind him to go to work. They make it to work late, with Kanna sneaking along after them, but they discover that everyone there is dead, and their employer is now either possessed or always has been some evil being from another reality. The object of his attention is Kanna, who is Kagura's daughter from another reality.

After being temporarily possessed by his own other half to fend off the attack on Kanna, a good half of the book consists of Kanna and Kagura getting used to each other. Kanna eventually convinces Kagura that it would be better to go back to his home town in order to throw off any other evildoers who are seeking her. On foot. And taking a circuitous route that includes every shrine even remotely possible that is on the way. So they begin the long walk to Kagura's hometown and Kanna's non-mother (in this reality) who is a childhood sweetheart of Kagura's.

This is another title that I am not sure if the cover art or the back cover copy really prepares you for its contents. After I read the ad copy I was thinking this would be like an after-school special: college age guy has kid dumped on him from a summer romance of a few years ago, he has to adjust his life to take into account said child, and hilarity ensues. Instead we have a fantasy story that turns very dark, then flips back to being very light, then goes all comedy gold for the last chapter (with the required co-ed hot bath scene.) I am not sure how long the book will follow Kagura and Kanna walking through Japan, but the implication is that it will be a long trip. The whiplash of mood and tone makes it difficult to judge exactly what the story is aiming for and how well it is succeeding. Until its tone has settled down, even knowing what the story is really about is difficult to judge.

Kanna, v.1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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