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from far away

WOW.
i’m in love.
again.

perhaps if i were paying closer attention, i wouldn’t be so surprised. i’m somewhat predictable in this area.

i checked out more manga from the library. just finished reading volumes 1-4 of from far away by kyoko hikawa. love it!

i admit, it was a bit of a rocky start, and i almost didn’t read it. the beginning is such a cliche that I had to laugh a little. the drawing style was a little old school (for my tastes), which made me wonder if i’d be able to get into it (without being distracted by these factors).

then there was the explosion and the rescue.
and the good-looking, reluctant hero.
more trouble.
another rescue.

ah, the typical unlikely and at-first-resisted shoujo relationship, with just the right dash of naivety. the girl saying, “i’d never act like this at home, what am i thinking?” and the guy saying, “i’ll most likely kill her in the morning.” (or was that the princess bride?) LOL.

>flips through the book again<

i looked at the copyright, and it’s originally 1991 (released in America in 2004). that explained the manga style. by the end of the second volume, though, i was totally hooked.

and not just by the story! the artist did some great effects, the layouts are solid, the characters very expressive.

i never realized how long certain manga techniques had been around until i read this series. think about it — after 15+ years, manga has been using the same basic look, layout, effects techniques, and visual shorthand. it’s practically a visual language.

>stares off into space, remembering little artistic details<

okay, maybe i’m getting carried away, but still! i guess that’s part of the beauty and tradition of the manga medium. 15 years seems like a long time to me (compared to my lifespan so far), probably because even the Web has only been around for barely ten years. if i really looked into it, they’ve probably been doing manga like that for lotsa decades.

whew! i’ll stop thinking about years and decades now. my brain isn’t hurting, but the room is starting to spin a bit. ^_^

so, back to the story.
the japanese schoolgirl gets thrown into a fantasy world where she is the key to everything. hmm… sound familiar? everyone is after her, actually trying to kill her. not to mention the random forest monsters. what’s a girl to do?

trip and fall to the ground, scream in fear, cry a little, and cling to the hero, apparently.

about the only thing special she has going for her is that her dad is a sci-fi author. that’s gotta count for something. it’s probably the reason she’s able to pull herself together and start learning the language of this new world. (a nicely realistic addition to the typical multi-dimensional story — how does the whole universe manage to speak english in all those other stories, anyway?)

i love how hikawa keeps the identity and true nature of the hero (anti-hero?) secret for several volumes. peeling back layers of backstory is always nice.

so i haven’t finished the series yet, but for now i give it a solid OH, YEAH, READ IT BABY!

if you like fantasy-style shoujo manga, that is.
or want to find out if you like it.

>grins, shrugs, picks up the book and keeps reading<

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One Response to from far away

  1. Arbalest Rose December 30, 2007 at 8:38 am #

    Did I not comment on this before? Yeah, I liked it. But unlike your more refined tastes, I liked it pretty much from the beginning. Sure, I’d read more. I might even slow down to chew it before I swallow next time. I was trying to fit the whole book in to my 20 minute “borrow.”

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