Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fairy Cube, vol. 1

Story and Art by Kaori Yuki
Released in the US by Viz Shojo Beat

Slugline: Bad Fairy! No crushing people's hopes and dreams!

Ian and Rin were old friends, despite the fact that Ian claimed to see fairies. One day he managed to show them to Rin, but Ian's jealous and powerful father forcedRin's family to move away. Ian's gotten more depressed over the years, especially since he has a dark shadow named Tokage. But when Rin's returns when Ian is in high school, they begin to plan to escape. But the plan is interrupted when Tokage seizes control of Ian's father and kills Ian. Ian ends up as a spirit and is consigned to the otherworld with the fairy Ainsel, where they come to an understanding that Ainsel will help Ian. Ian makes a deal with Kaito, a dealer of fairy cubes, taking over the body of a dead boy and discovering took over his dead body and moving on Rin. Ian, asEriya, tries to get Rin to realize Tokage's true nature, but it is only when Tokage destroys another fairy masquerading as human than Rin discovers what is going on and flees with Ian/Eriya house, where Eriya's grandmother realizes that something is up

And I forgot, there are fairy like murders, strange people that seem unusually interested in Ian's success or failure, fairies possessing people after they die using fairy cubes and there is elderly blind woman that has far greater idea on what is going on than what it first appears.

For a manga, this the plot is very dense, with several major changes in the characters and setting in the single volume. I've not even seen this dense plotting in US comics for a while. The denseness does present a problem now and then when they just dump some information and keeps on going without really giving you time to digest it, so when you read this you have to be willing to read it carefully, since it will not be repeated and hammered into you like many other manga. But that makes this a rarer, more interesting read. I believe that there is a market out there for meatier manga, that has more story whereas manga traditionally has been stronger in conveying mood and emotion, I just hope that the readers for this title will be able to find it. There is nothing obvious about Fairy Cube that shows how it stand out a different in structure from other shojo titles. I haven't read Kaori Yuki's other titles, Angel Sanctuary (though I think Miranda was less than impressed by it) and Godchild, so I am unsure if Fairy Cube is representative of her works. This level of dense storytelling has its problems, since sometimes things whip by too fast or seem to be dropped too casually, but it is something different as compared the run of the mill flood of manga titles.

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


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