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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Sand Chronicles Vol. 1 by Ashihara Hinako 
10th-Mar-2008 05:41 am
Golden
Ashihara, Hinako. Sand Chronicles. Vol. 1. Trans. Kinami Watabe and John Werry. San Francisco: VIZ Media, 2008.
          Summary: After her parents' divorce, Uekusa Ann and her mother return to her mother's hometown in the rural Shimane Perfecture. Though Ann's mother proves unable to take defeat and commits suicide, Ann is eventually able to make friends with the locals--especially two boys her age.
          Comments: Well, well, well. More of that early 21st century Shougakukan shoujo style a la Aihara Miki's Hot Gimmick. But at least the heroine of this manga isn't an embarrassment to young women everywhere; from the very beginning, Ann demonstrates the will to overcome hardship--and she throws a mean right hook to boot. (^__^) Anyway, this tale of two boys competing for one girl is pretty standard genre fare from both plot and stylistic points of view...but a very well-executed one, nonetheless. Ashihara is a veteran mangaka who has been drawing for about a decade, and it shows: the pacing is skillful and professional, and the sentiment is both elegant and poignant. Quite appropriately, then, nostalgia for the simple life and the inevitable passage of time are key themes. I found myself enthralled, almost in spite of myself.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Shougakukan in 2003
          Rating: 6.5/10 - A pleasant, unobtrusive read that should appeal those who like a measure of grace in their reading material.
Comments 
10th-Mar-2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
I definately might pick this one up. I hunger for strong teenaged heroines. There are so few. Every television show with girls make them unrealistically beautiful, popular, and rich. I think that's why I fell in love with the film Juno, sure she is young and pregnant, but she also is smart, independent, and honest, she is your everyday beauty and I just wish that more people figured out that teenagers are suppose to be like her. Not those shell-charactertures you see on Gossip Girl and The O.C. It is so refreshing to see self-sufficient, realitic teenage girls.
10th-Mar-2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
I wasn't too excited about this one joining the SB lineup, especially since the more highly praised Honey and Clover was scheduled to debut a month or two later but I found this one much more.
10th-Mar-2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
I wasn't too excited about this one joining the SB lineup, especially since the more highly praised Honey and Clover was scheduled to debut a month or two later but I found this one much more.

Err..."much more" what, exactly? Sorry, looks like your thought didn't finish here, and I do wanna know what it was! ^^;;
10th-Mar-2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Ack, that's what happens when you delete a line and don't notice your cursor moving over... found it much more engrossing.
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