Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I Wish..., vol. 1

By Hyun-Joo Seo
Released in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: The granting of wishes with no monkey paw in sight!

Jin Ryu was left behind when her parents and brother went on vacation, and in a moment of spite wished that their plane would crash. Of course, their plane really does crash and Jin, ridden with guilt, goes to a sorcerer K who will grant a wish in return of what is most precious of the wisher. Unfortunately, his rule is that he cannot bring the dead to life. And since Jin has seen him, he cannot let her go without her making a wish. So Jin ends up being K's assistant, and observes (and usually tries to help) the people who come to K looking for wishes to solve their problems.

Many of these sort of stories seem to revolve around the monkey paw type of a wish, a wish whose intentions rebound on the wisher so that he receives what he wants in the most horrible way possible. I Wish... is different, in that while there are consequences to the wish, and what is taken in payment is often unexpected, if the wish rebounds unexpectedly, so far it does so in a way that the wisher would actually prefer if he knew. There is also an unexpected relationship between K and Jin's dead brother, which implies that Jin herself is more than one would expect. Also of interest is that the chapters are of much longer than one would expect, with only three stories in this volume. I am not sure if the published format for this story is longer than normal or that several episodes have been edited together to form longer chapters. Either way, this is a different but still well done entry in the wish-fulfilling genre of stories.

I Wish..., vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

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