By Selena Lin
Published in the US by TokyoPop
Slugline: This would be a good second volume. Unfortunately it is the first.
Two living dolls are playing with their owner's son when good luck beads fall into a fish-tank and they turn human. Yeah, that is a horrible first sentence. Living dolls as a given? What, living dolls are so normal that we don't even have to introduce them? Never mind the fact that you can't tell the difference between the living dolls and the human child until someone says that one is human and the others are dolls. The living dolls don't really seem to have a long term memory, but there are half dozen questions that immediately come to mind. Where are the living dolls from? How did the family get them? Do they remember how they become dolls? How can you tell they are dolls in comparison to the human children? They want to be human, but it doesn't seem they have any problems living as dolls? Where are the good luck beads from? I would settle they were found in some mysterious shop, but apparently they have been in the house as long as the living dolls.
All these questions popped up within the first ten pages, and they weren't answered. At all. Now, it probably would have taken a single chapter, 20 pages, to set up all of these questions. But without that, I spent the first half of the book wondering what was going on, wondering if I missed something, and trying to refocus on what was actually going on. What was going on was sorta of interesting, but I was left at the end of the book wondering why I should care about the characters,because there were this big gaps in their background. I think there is a good story in there, but you are just thrown in the deep end without knowing how to swim here.
White Night Melody, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.