Manga Review: “A Devil and Her Love Song” Volume 13

A Devil and Her Love Song Volume 13 is a manga by Miysohi Tomori, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2014. The series is rated “T” for teens; after reading the series, I would agree with this rating.

The main character of the series is Maria Kawaii, a girl who transferred to Totsuka High School after being expelled from St. Katria for beating up a teacher. At the beginning of the series, she was misunderstood and bullied by many of her classmates; however, she was still able to make friends with Yusuke Kanda, Shin Meguro, and Tomoyo Kousaka. Later, Maria gets to know Shintaro Kurosu, a young man who has a major crush on her. Ayu, one of Maria’s former bullies, also becomes friends with her.

In Volume 12, Shin leaves to go to America to get surgery for his injured tendon and go through rehab in the hopes of being able to play the piano again. Shin also says they should go their separate ways because he doesn’t want her to see the person he’s going to turn into.

At the end of Volume 12, Maria begins making music videos with her friends and posting them on the Internet, in the hope that Shin will see them and understand the feelings she’s trying to convey.

Yusuke is the one filming the videos, but he still has feelings for Maria. Ayu has feelings for Yusuke, and this becomes a point of contention at the beginning of Volume 13. Ayu becomes frustrated that Maria seems to be oblivious to Yusuke’s feelings. This escalates with a confrontation between the two in the girls’ bathroom at school. Fortunately, they’re ultimately able to work out their differences with some intervention from Tomoyo.

Maria is also feeling confused about her future, and Yusuke convinces her that she should look into a career in singing. Maria begins trying to get a demo out there. She is recognized from her videos, and is asked to sing. The critique she’s given is that it sounds like she’s singing to only one person instead of many. She’s told that when she can sound like she’s singing to everyone she can come back and try again. Maria feels defeated, but she receives a surprise when Shin returns from America on a surprise visit. When Shin asks Maria to return to America with him to go to music school, she has to make a choice…

While Volume 13 did bring A Devil and Her Love Song to an end, I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a satisfying ending. While Maria makes a choice, there’s really no closure. A side story was included at the end which shows something that happened early on in Yusuke’s and Shin’s friendship; personally, I would’ve rather seen those pages used as some kind of “afterword” to basically narrate what happens in the future and to bring a more definitive ending to the series.

The first four chapters in Volume 13 are told from different characters’ perspectives. The first chapter is from Yusuke’s point of view, the second chapter is from Ayu’s perspective, the third is told from Tomoyo’s point of view, and the fourth is from Shintaro’s perspective. On the one hand, it’s an interesting way to tell some of the story. On the other, though, it’s a bit jarring since only part of the volume is done in this manner, and this kind of storytelling really hadn’t been used in the earlier volumes of the series.

Overall, I really did enjoy the A Devil and Her Love Song manga series. It was very effective at drawing me in with the first volume with its subject matter and intensity, and it made me want to keep on reading. I looked forward to when I could read each volume in order to find out what would happen to Maria. I was very excited to read Volume 13, but in the end, I didn’t quite get the payoff that I was hoping for.

If you decide to read A Devil and Her Love Song, just know that there’s a chance that you’ll fall in love with the series but that you probably won’t get a truly satisfying conclusion at the end of the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of A Devil and Her Love Song Volume 13 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Strobe Edge” Volume Eight

Strobe Edge Volume Eight is a manga by Io Sakisaka, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2014. The series is rated “T’ for teens; from the eight volumes that I’ve read of this series, I would agree with this rating.

Ninako Kinoshita is a high school freshman who is in the middle of a love triangle. She is in love with a guy named Ren, while Ninako’s friend Daiki has confessed that he likes Ninako. Unfortunately for Ninako, it turns out that Ren already has a girlfriend: Daiki’s older sister, Mayuka. Ninako’s friend, Sayuri, has confessed to Daiki that she likes him, and two start going out. Another potential love interest for Ninako was introduced in Volume Two: Ren’s classmate, Ando. Daiki ends up coming out of the love triangle getting into a relationship with Ninako’s friend, Sayuri. At the end of volume five, Daiki’s older sister breaks up with Ren.

Ninako spends most of this volume dealing with her confusion about her feelings with Ren. While she knows she likes him, she’s afraid that if the says anything to him that he’ll feel awkward and not want to be friends anymore.

At one point in this volume, Ninako makes the decision that she wants to pursue Ren. However, Ando’s former girlfriend Mao talks to her and tells Ninako about Ren and Ando being friends in middle school and how she came between them when she dated Ando in order to get closer to Ren. Now knowing this information, Ninako decides to try to suppress her feelings for Ren because she doesn’t want to get in the way of Ren and Ando potentially becoming friends again. Unfortunately, Ninako tells her friends that she’s no longer going after Ren but won’t explain why; this causes her friends to worry about her.

As I read this volume, I thought that Sakisaka was able to effectively portray Ninako’s conflicted feelings. Throughout the scenes that she appeared in, I almost thought I could actually feel the emotions that she was feeling. I just kept feeling so bad for her, especially since she’s unaware that Ren has actually developed feelings for her. It almost makes me want to smack Ren and tell him to just tell her straight out how he feels so Ninako can quit beating up on herself.

A new character is introduced, a loud-mouthed guy from another class who’s working with the cheerleaders for the upcoming sports festival. As he spends time around Ninako, he actually becomes the source of some helpful advice for her.

From what I’ve seen, there should only be two volumes left of Strobe Edge. At this point, I’m going to predict that these final volumes will focus on the sports festival and wrapping up the loose ends in regards to the various love interests. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Sakisaka will ultimately bring the story of Strobe Edge to its conclusion.

If you’ve read the previous seven volumes of Strobe Edge, then I think you’ll also enjoy Volume Eight.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Strobe Edge Volume Eight that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Viz Media Launches Shojo Manga Series Phantom Thief Jeanne

Viz Media has launched the Phantom Thief Jeanne shojo manga series, a magical-girl fantasy by Arina Tanemura. The series is rated “T” for Teens and carries an MSRP of $10.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

A digital version is available for $6.99 (USD/CAN) on VIZManga.com and through the VIZ MANGA app for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, Android-powered smart phones, as well as through the NOOK, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay stores.

The remaining volumes of the 5-volume series are scheduled to debut every other month.

High school student Maron Kusakabe has a secret – she’s Phantom Thief Jeanne. She sneaks into private art collections to steal paintings in which demons reside. Jeanne’s task is to seal the demons before they can devour human hearts. So far she’s been able to evade the police on her midnight outings, but now another thief has come onto the scene – Phantom Thief Sinbad – and he’s trying to take the paintings before she does!

Nancy Thistlethwaite, Editor, says, “PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE is our translated editions of the beloved Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne series in Japan. These books feature new covers by Arina Tanemura and color pages. They are must-have for new and current fans alike.”

Manga Review: “Phantom Thief Jeanne” Volume One

Phantom Thief Jeanne Volume One is a manga by Arina Tanemura, and it was published by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2014. The series is rated “T” for teens; after reading this volume, I would agree with this rating,

The main character of Phantom Thief Jeanne is a 16-year-old high school rhythmic gymnast named Maron Kusakabe. It turns out that Maron is the reincarnation of Jeanne D’Arc; because she is this reincarnation, she is the only one who can hunt down the demons that hide in works of art and try to stop God from gathering human hearts to prevent His death. She is accompanied by a semi-angel named Finn Fish.

With Finn’s help, Maron transforms into Jeanne and goes to seal the demons in various artwork. Unfortunately, when Maron does this as Jeanne, it appears that the artwork has been stolen; this causes Jeanne to gain a reputation as a phantom thief.

Maron’s best friend is Miyako Todaiji, and they have been friends since childhood. Miyako’s father is a police detective and he is in charge of the Jeanne case. Miyako aspires to be a detective like her father, and often accompanies him when they are trying to apprehend Jeanne. Miyako is a stubborn girl with a fierce temper.

Chiaki Nagoya is a high school student who moves into the apartment building that Maron and Miyako live in, and he transfers into their class. Maron dislikes Chiaki at first, because she believes he’s a womanizer. Meanwhile, Miyako develops a crush on Chiaki.

It turns out that Chiaki is also a phantom thief named Sinbad, and he is already aware of Maron;s secret. Without letting on that he is Sinbad, Chiaki tries to get close to Maron to try to stop her from collecting the demons. A rivalry develops between Jeanne and Sinbad as to who will get the demons from the artwork.

In true shojo style, Maron comes to develop feelings for Chiaki as the volume progresses, which creates a love triangle and forces Maron and Miyako to become rivals in love. Later in the volume, Jeanne is kissed by Sinbad, and shortly afterward, Maron figures out who Sinbad really is. And if a triangle between Chiaki, Maron, and Miyako wasn’t enough, a new love interest for Chiaki is introduced near the end of Volume One, which begins creating a more complicated character web. And then Maron, as Jeanne, has to deal with Sinbad’s feelings for her; and when she figures out Sinbad’s true identity, this issue becomes even worse for her than it had previously.

As you look at this volume, it’s fascinating how Tanemura was able to find some symbolic ways to show that Jeanne and Sinbad are rivals. When they capture the demons from the art, they turn into chess pieces; Jeanne’s pieces are white, while Sinbad’s pieces are black. Also, it’s interesting to note that Maron’s alter ego is that of someone who had actually lived, while Chiaki’s alter ego is that of a fictional character.

As I read this volume, I couldn’t help but find myself thinking that the art style felt like it was inspired by Sailor Moon. There were also some elements in the series, such as Jeanne’s catchphrase when she arrives to get a demon from an artwork, also felt like they were inspired by Sailor Moon. Considering that Phantom Thief Jeanne originally came out in Japan in the late 1990s, Tanemura could very well have gotten some inspiration from Takeuchi’s manga series.

Phantom Thief Jeanne takes typical elements and tropes from shojo manga series st in high school, such as best friends ending up in a love triangle when they fall for the same guy, and adds a magical girl twist to the story. By combining these elements together, Tanemura is able to create a story that is able to stand out in comparison to what would typically be considered a “traditional shojo series.” There’s also a good mixture of drama and humor, and the characters are compelling enough to make the reader interested in following what happens to them and want to read the next volume of the series in order to find out.

I found Phantom Thief Jeanne to be an enjoyable read, and I would highly recommend this series to fans of shojo manga. And if these shojo readers also enjoy magical girl stories, then that would be a plus.

I wrote this review after reading a review copy of Phantom Thief Jeanne Volume One that was provided to me by Viz Media.

Manga Review: “A Devil and Her Love Song” Volume 12

A Devil and Her Love Song Volume 12 is a manga by Miyoshi Tomori, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. The series is rated “T’ for teens; from what I’ve read of the series, I would agree with this rating.

The main character of the series is Maria Kawaii, a girl who transferred to Totsuka High School after being expelled from St. Katria for beating up a teacher. At the beginning of the series, she was misunderstood and bullied by many of her classmates; however, she was still able to make friends with Yusuke Kanda, Shin Meguro, and Tomoyo Kousaka.

Maria has gotten her voice back, but Shin really doesn’t want to open up about the injury to his hand to Maria. It culminates into an awkward date. After spending some time together at an amusement park, Shin tells Maria that he has an injured tendon and needs to get it operated on as soon as possible and rehab will take a long time. He also says he thinks they should go their separate ways because he doesn’t want her to see the person he’s going to turn into.

At this point, the volume becomes very emotional and dramatic. Yusuke tries to help the two of them out by taking Maria to the airport, but they end up missing him. However, Shin has left a voice mail message for Maria on her phone, singing “Ave Maria.” She sings along, and Yusuke records it on his phone and uploads the video to YouTube. Maria’s friends find the video and see that it’s popular and getting comments. They come up with an idea to work together on a music video.

Poor Maria goes through a rollercoaster of emotions throughout Volume 12, and I found myself feeling very sorry for her. Fortunately, she’s found some good friends over the course of the series, so they’re there for her to help her after Shin leaves. I’m really hoping that somehow, Shin and Maria will be able to make it through this obstacle and ultimately end up together.

I really like some of the art in this volume, especially many of the drawings of Maria. Tomori really captures Maria’s emotions in the dramatic scenes in this volume.

Tomori mentions in her author’s note at the end that the next volume will be the final volume of the series. On the one hand, I could feel the series is coming to an end, but on the other, I’m sad to see the series is ending. I’ve really enjoyed A Devil and Her Love Song, and at this point, I would have to say that it’s one of best shojo manga series that I’ve read at the time I’m writing this review. I’m looking forward to reading the next volume of A Devil and Her Love Song in order to find out how the story will be coming to an end.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of A Devil and Her Love Song Volume 12 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Strobe Edge” Volume Seven

Strobe Edge Volume Seven is a manga by Io Sakisaka, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. The series is rated “T’ for teens; from the seven volumes that I’ve read of this series, I would agree with this rating.

Ninako Kinoshita is a high school freshman who is in the middle of a love triangle. She is in love with a guy named Ren, while Ninako’s friend Daiki has confessed that he likes Ninako. Unfortunately for Ninako, it turns out that Ren already has a girlfriend: Daiki’s older sister, Mayuka. Ninako’s friend, Sayuri, has confessed to Daiki that she likes him, and two start going out. Another potential love interest for Ninako was introduced in Volume Two: Ren’s classmate, Ando. Daiki ends up coming out of the love triangle getting into a relationship with Ninako’s friend, Sayuri. At the end of volume five, Daiki’s older sister breaks up with Ren.

Ninako spends a lot of Volume Seven feeling rather conflicted. She believes that Ren is willing to spend time with her and smile because they’re simply friends; because of this, she doesn’t want to confess her feelings to him again, out of fear that if she does, they’ll no longer be friends. Unknown to her, though, is the fact that Ren has feelings for her but isn’t saying anything. I found myself feeling rather bad for the both of them, because I knew that if they could just admit their feelings for one another, things would be OK.

A major focus of Volume Seven is on the class trip. Ninako, Sayuri, Ren, and Yutaro end up being the same group. The trip becomes tense, due to several factors. Obviously, Ninako and Ren’s reluctance to tell the other how they feel is one part of this tension. However, Sayuri notices that a girl from Daiki’s class seems to be a little too close to him, so she spends her time worrying about whether or not Daiki is being faithful to her. And it turns out there’s a secret that involves Sayuri and Yutaro that adds to the tension.

Manabu and Ando are in another group. While Manabu tries to have their group keep their distance from Ren and Ninako in order to give them space, Ando keeps trying to find ways for their groups to be together on the trip.

At the end of the volume, there’s also a bonus story called, “Wishing for Yesterday,” which focuses on Yutaro and Sayuri. This bonus story gives the reader the backstory that’s needed to better understand their secret that’s revealed in this volume. This is at least the second time that I can think of during the series that Sakisaka has provided a bonus story in a volume to help give the background on something that appeared in that volume. This is information is important, but including it as a flashback in the main story in this series would have hurt the flow of the story too much. I have to give Sakisaka a lot of credit for writing and illustrating these bonus stories in order to impart important information to readers.

If you’ve read the previous six volumes of Strobe Edge, then I think you’ll also enjoy Volume Seven.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Strobe Edge Volume Seven that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Absolute Boyfriend” Volume One

Absolute Boyfriend Volume One is a manga by Yuu Watase, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2006. The series is rated “T+” for older teens; after reading this volume, I would agree with this rating.

The main character of Absolute Boyfriend is a high school girl named Riiko Izawa, and she’s been rejected by every good-looking guy that she has confessed her feelings to. In fact, the volume opens with her confessing her feelings to a boy who turns her down right away. One day, as she’s walking through a park, she hears a cell phone ringing and it’s an abandoned phone laying on the ground. Riiko answers it and talks with the phone’s owner, who invites to meet up with him to return the phone to him.

The guy she meets is a businessman who appears to be wearing cosplay, but he insists that he isn’t. He tries to sell her something, and she’s not interested. When Riiko says that all she wants is a boyfriend, he gives her a CD-ROM that will take her to a website, but he tells her she has to keep the site a secret.

Later, she visits the website that is called “Lover Shop.” She sees that it sells “Lover Figures,” and that there’s a three-day free trial. She decides to place an order and adds a whole bunch of personality options. The next day, a large box is delivered to her; when she opens it, a naked man comes tumbling out. This is the “Lover Figure” that she ordered, and it’s some kind of artificial intelligence.

She spends the next three days with him, which she names Night. Unfortunately, it turns out that Riiko didn’t read the contract thoroughly and she technically didn’t return Night when she was supposed to. So now the guy who gave the CD-ROM says she owes one million dollars. The rest of the volume sees Riiko trying to find a way to come up with the money in order to pay off this debt.

In addition to all of that, Riiko lives in the same complex as her classmate, Soshi. Throughout this volume, hints are given that Soshi likes Riiko, even though he tends to tease her about her breast size; however, Riiko doesn’t seem to clue in on how he feels about her.

After Night is introduced in this volume, I couldn’t help but find myself making comparisons between Absolute Boyfriend and Chobits. While the circumstances for how Night and Chi end up with their respective humans and their purposes are different in their stories, they are both artificial intelligences who serve as love interests for their respective humans.

When it comes to the art, there was really nothing that stood out to me. I just felt like I was looking at the expected styles and tropes associated with shojo manga.

By the time I finished reading this volume, I was left with the impression that Absolute Boyfriend is ultimately a teenage girl wish fulfillment fantasy of having the perfect boyfriend. Unfortunately, as a woman who is quickly approaching her 40s, this isn’t the type of story that’s going to have much of an appeal to me personally. However, I think there are some older teenage girl manga readers out there who will really enjoy Absolute Boyfriend.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Absolute Boyfriend Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “A Devil and Her Love Song” Volume 11

A Devil and Her Love Song Volume 11 is a manga by Miyoshi Tomori, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.

The main character of the series is Maria Kawaii, a girl who transferred to Totsuka High School after being expelled from St. Katria for beating up a teacher. At the beginning of the series, she was misunderstood and bullied by many of her classmates; however, she was still able to make friends with Yusuke Kanda, Shin Meguro, and Tomoyo Kousaka.

The third story arc introduces a new character named Shintaro Kurosu, a new freshman at school has taken an interest in Maria. Maria does not reciprocate his feelings, but he keeps finding ways to try to hang around her. Maria is still in love with Shin, even if he doesn’t seem to be returning her feelings.

During Volume 10, Maria lost her voice after being hugged by Shin and having the memories of what happened with her mother flood back into her. At the same time, one of Shin’s hands in injured. The end of Volume 10 also saw Shin and Maria officially becoming a couple.

At the beginning of Volume 11, the relationship for Shin and Maria is a little rocky, because Maria is unable to communicate what she means due to losing her voice. When she’s at Shin’s house, she finds the copy of the newspaper article about her mother’s rape in his things, and she decides to return to Yokosuka in order to piece everything together in an attempt to get her voice back.

When Maria buys a ticket to go to Yokosuka, Shintaro is also there. It turns out he lives in Yokosuka and offers to take her around. Shin and Yusuke arrive, and they also buy tickets to go to Yokosuka.

After getting to Yokosuka, Maria starts getting pieces of information, which culminates with some very unexpected things occurring. By the end of this volume, Maria goes through quite a bit of character development.

Wow, this volume of A Devil and Her Love Song was very intense! I found myself getting so wrapped up in what was going on that I didn’t want to put it down. And I admit that by the end of the volume, I found myself almost crying a couple of times.

This volume also finally fits all the puzzle pieces of Maria’s backstory into place through her visit to Yokosuka. During her time in Yokosuka, we also got to meet characters that are connected to her past that I personally thought we would never meet.

Now that Maria has finally found the answers she’s been seeking, it looks like the focus of Volume 12 will be on Shin and the injury he sustained on his hand. We did see a little bit of a focus on the injury in this volume, and it was enough to raise concerns for the reader. I suspect that we’ll find out what exactly is going on with the injury in Volume 12, and how that answer  could affect Shin and his relationship with Maria.

If you’re a fan of A Devil and Her Love Song, you do not want to miss reading Volume 11. Fans of the series will be highly rewarded by what they read and learn in this volume.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of A Devil and Her Love Song Volume 11 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Beauty Is the Beast” Volume One

Beauty Is the Beast Volume One is a manga by Tomo Matsumoto, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2005. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.

The main character of Beauty Is the Beast is Emishi Yamashita, an eleventh grader who moves into her school’s dorm and finding out her parents are relocating due to a job transfer. The story begins with Emishi moving into the girls’ dorm, meeting her new roommate and the other girls that live in the dorm, and adjusting to dorm life.

When Emishi moves into the dorm, she is given a “mission” which she must complete in order to stay in the dorm. Her mission is to sneak into the guys’ dorm and steal a nameplate from a room. When she goes to steal a nameplate, one of the occupants of the room finds her and hides her in the room. This particular guy is named Wanibuchi, and he has a reputation at school because people think he spent junior high in juvenile detention.

Emishi is able to succeed in her mission, and as the volume progresses, she keeps running into Wanibuchi. Emishi and Wanibuchi start hanging out, and the seeds for a potential relationship appear to be sown by the end of Volume One.

After reading the first volume of this series, I thought that while it seems to be a decent story, there’s really not much here to differentiate it from other similar shojo manga series. At the same time, I’m finding myself truly wondering something, though. If Wanibuchi really is interested in Emishi, I’m not entirely seeing why at the moment. Perhaps this is something that might become clearer in future volumes of the series.

Matsumoto’s art style feels a little on the rough side. I’m constantly seeing panels where Matsumoto seems to be skimping on details, especially on people’s faces. There’s also one of the girls that lives in the dorm named Suzu that I swore was a boy when I first saw her in the volume. I was wondering why there was a boy living in the girls’ dorm. This issue became less of a problem as the volume went on, because I got used to the fact that this character was indeed a girl. I understand that Matsumoto was trying to convey that this particular character is more of a tomboy, but this did cause me some slight gender confusion right at the beginning.

I have a feeling that Beauty Is the Beast is a series that will probably have the strongest appeal to teenage girls. For me, while this isn’t a bad series, it’s one that I’m really not in a hurry to rush out and track down the next volume through my local library system. However, if I were to stumble across the next volume on the library shelves, then I wouldn’t be adverse to checking it out.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Beauty Is the Beast Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Dawn of the Arcana” Volume One

Dawn of the Arcana Volume One is a manga by Rei Toma, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2011. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.

The main character of Dawn of the Arcana is Princess Nakaba, who has been forced to marry Prince Caesar of Belquat. Unfortunately, Nakaba stands out due to her red hair, because royalty is expected to have dark hair; other hair colors are associated with commoners. Marriages between Belquat and Senan royalty were made, in the hopes of bringing peace to their lands; unfortunately, the peace never lasts long. At the beginning of the volume, Caesar treats Nakaba as a possession.

Nakaba is escorted by Loki, an Ajin (which is an underclass that works as slaves); Loki is very protective of Nakaba, which causes him to get into scuffles with Caesar and the royal palace. In a flashback, we learn that Loki has been with Nakaba since she was a child.

Over the course of the volume, a love triangle seems to develop between Nakaba, Caesar, and Loki. This triangle comes to a head near the end of the volume.

Dawn of the Arcana seems to be developing a rather “typical” shojo story, but the fantasy setting for the series does help to make it feel a little more unique compared to other shojo manga that I have read. Volume One of this series does a good job of establishing both Nakaba and Loki as characters through the course of the volume. While Caesar also gets some character development in this volume, it comes during a very small section right near the end of the volume.

When it comes to the art in Dawn of the Arcana, I have to give Toma a lot of credit for giving her characters very distinctive looks. By being able to make her characters looks so distinctive, I’m not getting characters confused because they look so similar.

Volume One of Dawn of the Arcana does an effective job of laying the groundwork for the story that Toma is wanting to tell. While this may feel like a “typical” shojo story to start, there is the potential for the story to become something more in future volumes of the series. This is a series I wouldn’t mind continuing in the future if I come across other volumes of it in order to find out whether or not the story can progress into something more than a typical shojo love story.

Personally, I think manga readers who enjoy shojo manga and fantasy stories will probably be interested in reading Dawn of the Arcana.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of Dawn of the Arcana Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.