Kusanagi, Mizuho. Mugen Spiral. Vol. 1. Trans. Nan Rymer and Christine Schilling. Los Angeles: TOKYOPOP, 2007. Summary
: The Demon King is ailing, and pretenders to the throne the young human mystic Yayoi's power. Foremost of these is Ura, the King's son, whom Yayoi sounded defeated and sealed into the body of a cat. However, he doesn't stay a cat for long. The orphaned Yayoi has learned that Ura wants to save his father, not replace him, and she's determined to help! Comments
: Kusanagi says that she reads lots of manga, and it shows. This series is unmistakably and deeply indebted to Inuyasha
(for storyline) and Saiyuuki
(for artstyle), to name just two prominent titles, but (like most of TOKYOPOP's licenses these days, alas) it's just
solid enough to stand on its own. The book develops as mediocre shoujo manga of this sort usually do: a few standalone, episodic chapters before getting down to the nitty-gritty of the long term plot, a handsome but brash hero who will eventually win the heroine's undying love, a bishounen or two of ambiguous morals and baldly-expressed homosexuality (Western influence on Japan means that these two things often go hand-in-hand in manga). The heroine, in a nice change of pace from the usual insecure whiner, is described by the mangaka herself as "invincible"--she is coolly confident in herself and her quite formidable powers. Anyway, we all know how manga like these end, but it's a not wholly unpleasant journey to that predictable final destination. (By the way, the "demons" are actually Japanese oni.) Notes
: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Hakusensha in 2004 Rating
- Fans of fantastical shoujo and/or recent Hana to Yume titles may want to check this one out. But you're not really missing anything if you decide not to bother.