This week, in a desperate attempt to disguise the fact that he doesn’t have any coherent way to tie the reviewed books together, Andrew Wheeler will adopt a “countdown” format to write about three brand-new Manga volumes.
Adding to the difficulty level: he will also write about himself in the third person, for no good reason.
Kaze no Hana, Vol. 3
By Ushio Mizta and Akiyoshi Ohta
Yen Press, December 2008, $10.99
This is the end of “Book One” of Kaze no Hana, in which not nearly enough is wrapped up and hardly any indication is given that the series will continue on to a “Book Two” sometime, somewhere. (For those who are lost: reviews of Volume One and Volume Two.)
To recap briefly: Momoka Futami is yet another typical cute Japanese teenage girl, who just wants to live a normal life. But she’s actually part of a family that has spent the past few hundred years defending the world against the minions of an evil god that was trapped under a mountain, using eight “spiritual swords.” There’s also an opposed group that wants to free the evil god – they don’t seem to consider him evil, actually – and they use “sacred swords,” which are totally different in a way that’s never been clear.
Kaze no Hana has a fairly large cast of people with vestigial (at best) noses, and it’s difficult to tell them apart much of the time. This book also has a lot of talking and emoting rather than fighting monsters, though one character does turn out, unexpectedly, to be a werewolf. There’s also a huge plot problem that gets resolved exceptionally quickly, leading this reader to wonder if perhaps the original serialization of this story was hurried to a conclusion quicker than the creators had planned.