Oct 17, 2011
st_owly (All reviews)
Note: This review is only for Part 1 (Volumes 1-13) The author intended it to end here, and it shows. Part 2 was written due to fan demand, and it shows. It definitely feels like a tacked on afterthought. Now, onto the review...

I think this is one of the best shoujo manga out there. It takes the basic plot bones of a shounen manga: Teenager faced with epic quest and who must defeat ultimate evil, adds romance and manages to turn it into a beautiful, gripping shoujo manga.

Art: The art is very 90's, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Unlike a lot of shoujo artists, Watase is actually good at drawing action scenes, and the period detail in the world of the book is excellent.

Character: This series has a lot of characters, but somehow manages to handle the development of all of them very well. I did think that towards the end it felt a bit rushed, and some characters were killed off unnecessarily, and their deaths got far less page time than some characters who died earlier in the series. Other than that, all the characters were developed very well, and you even care about the bad guys, which is no mean feat of achievement. Miaka and Tamahome can be a bit irritating, but far less so than in the anime.

Story: The story feels a bit rushed towards the end, as I mentioned in the character section, but it's gripping and enjoyable. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you going and a nice sense of adventure.

Enjoyment: I measure enjoyment by how much I want to read something again and again, and this is a series I've been coming back to over and over again for the past 5 years, so it must be doing something right. It's also the series I most commonly lend to people, male or female, if they're new to manga and want something to read.

Overall: A shoujo fantasy epic that shouldn't be missed. Part 2 is much more of a read once only thing though. It's a shounen manga for girls, in the best possible way.