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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
R.I.P. Requiem in Phonybrian by Mihara Mitsukazu 
17th-Oct-2007 01:54 pm
Mihara, Mitsukazu. R.I.P. Requiem in Phonybrian. Trans. Beni Axia Conrad and Nathan Johnson. Los Angeles: TOKYOPOP, 2006.
          Summary: The angel Transylvanian Rose, bored to tears up in heaven, descends to earth and "adopts" the depressed ghost of a newly-deceased young man by giving him one of her wings and forces him to help her purify wayward spirits. As it turns out, he can even cleanse suicides (something no other angel can do)--and this serves him well during his reunion with the ghost of his true love. She had killed herself so that he wouldn't be distracted from his music anymore, but instead her death drove him to the suicide that begins the story. Fortunately, they find mutual redemption in the end.
          Comments: This is what Tokyo Babylon would look like with a Goth Loli makeover (and the exclusion of Seishiro). I was slightly disappointed that it didn't run longer; more chapters to fill might have forced Mihara to get past the usual "I was bullied, and now I can't rest in peace!" and "No one appreciated my talent, and now I can't rest in peace!" and even "I loved him therefore I killed him and even in damnation I've gotten what I wanted!" storylines to write something genuinely affective and challenging. And we know she's capable of it, given the heights occasionally reached in Doll.
          But...err...waitaminute. We find out, slightly more than halfway through the volume, that the gloomy hunk's name is...Phony Brian?! What the heck?! I don't get it. And I don't get the manga's explanation, either. Why would a man named Brian "naturally" name his only son Phony Brian? Totally bizarre. Is it Engrish? I feel like I've been left out of some cosmic joke--and this feeling does not serve the purposes of Mihara's admittedly off-kilter (but not THIS off-kilter) story. It's what I get for buying remaindered first printings of TOKYOPOP books, I suppose.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Asuka Shinsha
          Rating: 5.5/10 - It's not one of Mihara's worst, by any means. Hell, it was vaguely entertaining. But I'm sure most manga readers would prefer to spend their $9.99 on something else.
17th-Oct-2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Or $3.99 as the case may be ^_^
17th-Oct-2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Some of Mihara's stories are pure nonsense, but I'm shameless and buy them for the art. Not that there aren't good ones, but the primary appeal for me will always be the art.
18th-Oct-2007 02:53 am (UTC)
Well, from a visual standpoint, I must admit that I loved the wings in this one. XD

But eye candy alone just doesn't do it for me when the manga is in English. (In Japanese, on the other hand, it keeps me entertained while I read sloooowly. ^^;; ) But Mihara does good stories, too. So I guess hope springs eternal.
18th-Oct-2007 03:53 pm (UTC) - pssst
are you online?^_^
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