After her parents get divorced, Ann Uekusa and her mother move from Tokyo to rural Shimane. Accustomed to the anonymity of city living, Ann can't get used to the almost overbearing kindness of the people in her mother's hometown. But when personal tragedy strikes, Ann discovers how much she needs that kindness.
(Source: Back Manga Cover/ANN)
Chosen by the American Library Association (ALA) as one of the Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2009. (Vols. 1-3)
Sand Chronicles takes all the usual Shoujo elements together, and cooks it up in a new and refreshing way; it is not full of cliches nor filled with absurd amounts of melodrama that becomes the pitfall of many Shoujo series, and despite some pacing issues throughout the series, it is a well-written character-driven coming of age piece that is recommended for those who enjoy Shoujo manga.
Sand Chornicles' biggest strength is its moving plot. There isn't only one emphasis on one aspect of the story, such as romance (or angst, as the series progresses), and as the story moves through the seasons, it gives a very
realistic appeal, and the timeline gives plenty of room for interwining stories and character development. Sure, there is romance involved, it is only one aspect of their lives, as it should be. Even though the series is also very event-oriented, it does not have problems such as overcommitting with melodrama or such - events often resulting in the annoyance and frustration of the reader, and its slice-of-life aspect handles this very well.
The characters are also charming. They all fit into the typical character stereotypes, but they are fleshed out enough to make it work, and undergo hefty amounts of development, fitting for a coming of age manga. They all have their own stories to tell, and their stories are not concentrated in specific arcs, but over multiple volumes, which synergizes well with the story's realistic appeal. This makes the series heavily dependent on its pacing, but it is, for the most part, done without major problems. The story also focuses on four main characters, which helps to keep the story interesting and moving, but not too many that it overextends itself.
Despite these general strengths, Sand Chronicles suffers, perhaps inevitably, from its Shoujo roots and its inherent limitations - most strikingly notable being the ending in volume 8, which somewhat expected, still felt very forced. The characters also stem from the usual stereotypes, and while charming, they require a lot of detail that can be overlooked by the casual reader to appreciate their individual appeal. This is for the most part resolved in the spinoffs in volumes 9~10 - which is very well done, but they can be detrimental while reding the main story from volumes 1~8.
As well, the story simply lacks polish in general. It is especially glaring when comparing the spin-offs to the main story, in which the former is of highly better quality than the latter. This is mainly due to some pacing issues and managing the level of drama throughout the story, while some plot devices simply feel forced, such as the events of volume 7 - which was great in concept, but lacking in implementation.
Sand Chronicles is by no means a masterpiece, it's heavy dependence on its Shoujo roots is a testament to that, but it is easily accessible for any Shoujo fan, and in the end, highly enjoyable, which is what really counts. It's not the most original, nor the most polished, but it's well written and fun to read.
Sand Chronicles is a piece with large amounts of potential, and it will be interesting and well worth to anticipate the author's future works.
More people should read this manga.There are many reasons to do it :)
At this point,i have read all 10 volumes of Sand Chronicles,realesed in Italy.
This manga became one of my favorite from the start though :)
Story:The story is about the life from a young girl,named An.It is basically a drama-romance,and after all other genres.An,in the start of the story,visits with her mother the village she was born.Her parents was just devorced.An's life gets an unexpectable turn after her mother commits suicide and leaves her alone.The same moment though,she meets her first friends,and the love of her life.An grows up a bit more in each chapter-season.
other characters,play important roles in the story too.The manga,is written like a diary,with memories from each season from An's life since she was 12.At the end of volume 8 ,there is basically the end of the manga.In the last 2 volumes,the author decided to write and draw all the missing facts,and everything a fan would have questions for,the past,other character's stories in the meanwhile,the future,etc.
Basically,the story is so sweet,that warms you up,and many times came tears to my eyes :P
Art:The art is just spectacular,shoujo artwork,with very detailed eyes and hair. I haven't seen many better that this.
Character:The main characters are 4:An,Daigo,Fuji and Shiika. An is teh protagonist,as i said before,and Daigo is her first friend and her first love.He promises that he will protect her after what happened with her mother,and their love grows up fast,and never gets destroyed.Fuji ,is afriend of An and Daigo,a rich guy that they met when they first time went to work in his villa,and Shiika is his sister,one year younger that the others.Fuji is attracted to An,and a lot of problems coming up...Everyone's life is a bit messed up too :P
Enjoyment:A 10,is a 10.You can't stop reading this manga,it gives you so many feelings together.And,the story is not like every other shoujo out there.It's special.
Recommended,read it now if you ar einto genre like that and not :P
This manga brings you through the lives of four children. While reading, you can almost feel the emotions that the characters are feeling. This manga isn't a lovey-dovey manga where everything just works out. The mangaka shows you the harsh reality that is life and makes you ask for more. This is a manga that you shouldn't miss reading.
At first glance, the manga seems like just any other shoujo manga. As you read on though, the development is quite original. The story is quite believable and could very well happen in real life. The way the mangaka makes it resemble reality was very effective.
I admit, the art isn't the best out there. It is, however, decent compared to other (shoujo) mangas.
This is the part that I loved most about Sand Chronicles. The character development was amazing. The mangaka was able to dig deeply into the past of all four characters while at the same time progressing on in the storyline. The flashbacks were keep short and simple and in no way hinder the story. Instead, the author showed that the pain from the past doesn't go away until you let it go. I was captured by Ann's endurance, Fuji's fake cool exterior, Daigo's indecisiveness, and Ann's persistence.
What I loved most was how the mangaka didn't make the characters weak and dependent. They all had painful and sad times, but they got over it. The characters didn't need to depend on anyone or anything. Their personalities were real.
I really enjoyed this manga and I endulged myself into the storyline. It showed the ups and downs in life. It is certainly a manga worth reading.
I love this manga.
I hope you'll at least read into chapters 3-4 before judging it. It really is an amazing manga. One that you really shouldn't miss out on reading.
So, this is my review for the first 3 chapters I've read.
Honestly, this manga was a little plain to me at first. But I dont really know why it pulled me in. It had a certain charm I guess. I guess it was the way the author can relate it to reality. It's not your typical lovey-dovey, cheesy shoujo manga, where the girl meets the guy, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. It's a manga based on how hard life can be, and that decisions can be difficult to make. I'll continue reading it, and hope it'll be worthwhile.