Monday, December 10, 2007

The Other Side of the Mirror, vol. 1

Created by Jo Chen
Released in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Is this a title without teenagers in high school?!? Do people that old even have romance?!?

Lou makes his living, barely, by winning drinking contests in New York City while Sunny have been abandoned by her boyfriend and has been forced to sell herself to survive, even though she is not very good at it. She goes home and sleeps with Lou in a very badly handled pickup, and when he can't pay, she stays at his place. They come to rely on each other, and when the opportunity comes up, they flee New York City and try to create a new life for themselves out in the boondocks. They manage to get jobs and start to actually become the people that their roles have demanded of them. In addition, the short 99 Roses sets up a tragic love story, then reveals it to be really a farce.

Jo Chen has gotten some good press due to her work on some of the mainstream comic titles, such as Runaways and Buffy, Season 8, and while she claims that her style here is in transition, it is still recognizable at her, just not as light as it will become. As for the title itself, I give TokyoPop points for allowing themselves to escape the endless releases of high school romances. I admit that this is not an especially original take on adult dysfunctional relationships, but it is one that is rarely seen in manga and it is well executed.

The Other Side of the Mirror, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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