Thursday, March 18, 2010

Only One Wish, vol. 1

By Mia Ikumi
Published in the US by Del Rey Manga

Slugline:  Why do people like monkey paw stories so much?

Students believe in an urban legend that if you text under the right conditions you will get an angel to make one wish come true. But things are never that simple. Here, as in many other monkey paw-like stories, getting exactly what you wish for leads to the worst possible outcome.  The angel will fulfill only one wish, there is no chance to take it back, no matter how much it is needed. In this volume, a trio of friends tear themselves apart from jealousy and anger over who will wish a boyfriend to them. A dead girl has to find the wrong boy to kiss to bring herself back to life. A boy and girl who are so alike have blindly to find each other across the city. A girl shrinks a boy down to doll size until he loves her. In all of these, what can go wrong with the wish does often without any recourse.

This seems like a monkey paw in search of a good story to grasp onto. At first, having wishes go wrong seems like a good foundation for a series but variations of it has been done so often it is hard to find a new take. Plus if the story is always about wishes going wrong, reading it gets depressing as people keep on destroying themselves despite the best of intentions. This problem is realized as while the first story has a very traditional 'be careful what you wish for' story the later ones depart from that strict formula. The angel is a like a ghost character which helps prevent readers from blaming her for the evil that befalls the other characters but there is nothing emotional linking the stories together. The manga feels well written but empty. There is a short Tokyo Mew Mew! story included for the creator's other fans.

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

- Ferdinand

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