Hikaru, Fuu, and Umi are once again transported to Cephiro. But, with the Pillar gone, they don't know how they could have been transported back. As they meet up with old friends, they find that Cephiro is now crumbling because they do not have a pillar. They also find that gates from other worlds have opened, and the leaders want the Pillar to themselves for their own selfish reasons. Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu must now set out to save Cephiro form dying.
Magic Knight Rayearth 2 was first published in English by Tokyopop from June 2000 to June 2003, as volumes 4-6 of Magic Knight Rayearth. Tokyopop rereleased the series in an unflipped version, first as a collector's edition box set on April 25, 2003, and as individual volumes from February 8, 2004 to June 8, 2004. Dark Horse later took over the license, and published the series in omnibus format on April 11, 2012, and later digitally on August 13, 2014.
Following along on the heels of Magic Knight Rayearth part one, upon entering the sequel of Clamp's high fantasy work, the reader finds the world of Cephiro utterly changed and on the brink of war and the protagonists of the first part changed along with the events of the previous story.
Hikaru, Umi and Fuu; still devastated and guilty of what occurred on their first visit to the land of Cephiro, once again find themselves taken to the land where so much happened. The three girls are shocked at the change that has taken place in the land: the lush landscape of Cephiro is torn
and burned; almost utterly destroyed and crumbling away more with every passing minute. The girls learn that because the Pillar does not exist anymore, Cephiro is struggling to remain stable, and even exist. Not only that, but there are now other countries who long to capture and overtake Cephiro in its moment of weakness, and have their leaders try to become the new Pillar of Cephiro. Knowing that this must be stopped and a new Pillar from Cephiro must be found quickly, the three girls once more take up their duties and positions as Magic Knights and become entwined again, in the fate of Cephiro; the country that is steadily declining all about them.
Filled with gripping adventure, many new characters, light romance, struggles and triumphs all set against a backdrop of a crumbling world, Magic Knight Rayearth two is an extremely solid story.
★ Story (8) - Once again, this manga shows off its originality and twists throughout , but again suffers from the very short length the story squeezes itself into. Even more rich detail is present in the sequel, but many points of interest are sadly only hinted at. The incredible imagination that went into this work is unfortunately wasted, as three meager volumes cannot possibly explain so many interesting things presented throughout the story. The series on a whole could have been beautifully fleshed out in ten or even more volumes, and the story, world and relationships just touched upon int three volumes would have benefited greatly from more time. Despite the short volume amount, Clamp did a masterful job in making the story extremely engaging and interesting despite not going into full detail like they could have done.
★ Art (10) - Again, Clamp's gorgeous drawing is displayed in all its glory page after page throughout the manga. Shading and screentones compliment fantastic world design; intricate and richly detailed settings, from robots to fantastical futuristic ships and oddly shaped planets are drawn to perfection and loaded with originality. The characters are all highly appealing to look at with the richly imagined costumes, large, highly detailed eyes, slender frameworks and pretty hair. Weapons are as elegant and well suited to their masters in their glossy glory; studded with shining jewels or majestic hilts, the weapons are just as detailed and well thought out as everything else. Magic Knight Rayearth features some of Clamp's greatest and most detailed artwork ever, so turning each page is not only an adventure, but a very rewarding experience.
★ Character (8) - Like the story, the characters do tend to suffer a bit from the restrictive three volumes of Magi Knight Rayearth two. While very appealing and likable, the fact is that it is difficult to really get to know a character when they're not given enough time onscreen, and are surrounded with many other characters who they all have to share the limited spotlight with. While they're very engaging and interesting, a lot (if not all) of their backstories are simply hinted at, and their personalities not given enough time to shine. Their motivations again, are strongly referenced to, yet come across as perhaps rushed, or not strong enough to really match why they are acting in a certain way or not. No matter the shortcomings that this short sequel suffers from, its hard not to like any character, and even in the limited amount of time the reader gets to know them, they are rather memorable and heartfelt.
★ Enjoyment (8) - Loaded with new elements, new worlds, new problems, relationships and characters, Magic Knight Rayearth two is a very appealing and highly enjoyable little set of volumes sure to keep the reader engaged and engrossed, even after completing the series.
★ Overall (8) - An extremely rollicking adventure story with just enough from all sides and angels to keep the reader entertained, Magic Knight Rayearth, despite its shortcomings and issues, is still one of Clamp's best works, and among their most imaginative and interesting. The ending of this series comes as a pleasant surprise, and does something that I personally have seen no other manga do ever.
Engrossing and unique even to the very final page, Magic Knight Rayearth is an absolute delight not only for Clamp fans, but for anyone longing to be whisked off to that wonderful and mysterious land of 'Once Upon a Time and Far, Far Away...'
This is a direct continuation from the previous Magic Knight Rayearth, and now Fuu, Umi and Hikaru are back to Cephiro once again, and now they have to fix the problems left in Cephiro that happened after their tragic last battle.
The visual quality is still here, with all the beauty and delacacy that only Clamp manages to do, while delivering us great and epic battles.
If one of the problems of the previous series was the lack of time to develop the characters, now they are all back and we are able to know them a little better. Also, new characters are introduced, with all the
fun and drama that all the Clamp characters bring. An interesting point, and that I don't like very much, is that the battles now happens almost of the time inside their Mechas. If you like giant robots fighting, you will enjoy, but I particulary prefer the fights with the girls casting their magics herselves.
Once again, this is a great Clamp publication and a good conclusion to the story of the girls and Cephiro.