Saturday, November 23, 2013

Manga Review: Sweet Rein, Volume 1, by Sakura Tsukuba

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Publish Date: November 5th, 2013
Volumes: 3
Spoilers?: Not really.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A magical romance from the creator of Land of the BlindfoldedSad at the thought of spending Christmas alone, Kurumi Sagara goes out for a walk. While she’s crossing the street, a boy bumps into her, and a rein suddenly appears that binds them together. The overjoyed boy tells her she’s his master and that she’s a Santa Claus. Kurumi dismisses him as a crazy person, but then he transforms into a reindeer?!

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.


This series is about a Santa Claus and her Reindeer. You see, a reindeer, able to go back and forth between human and animal, is destined to work every Christmas with their very own Santa Claus, if they ever find them. And they know because, as soon as they touch, a ribbon forms between the two, attaching them to each other. No one else can see it, and it doesn’t get in the way, but it’s there, can be pulled on, and their bond lets the reindeer always know when Santa needs them.
Kurumi bumps into a boy one day, Kaito, and from there, Kaito follows her around, insisting she’s his Santa Claus. She’s reluctant, but she goes along with it. Most reindeer only meet up during Christmas, don’t see each other during the rest of the year, but Kaito stays around, and he insists that he loves Kurumi, who he calls Master.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started this, as I’d really only browsed the synopsis. But it was really cute, very sweet. Only the first chapter is on Christmas, the other two are during the summer, which I suppose means that it is not strictly  a Christmas story, but has a very apparent Christmas undertone. I like Kurumi, she seems like a nice girl, a little lonely because her father, her only real relative, is always away working. I love Kaito. He’s such a sweetheart, and his devotion, adoration, and general happiness for Kurumi is so sweet. Kaito has a rather big family, most of which are also reindeers, and I really like them, too. It seems like it’ll be good for Kurumi, to be around such a close, happy family, and I’m hoping to get to know each member better in future volumes.
This was a very sweet beginning to the series. The romance is apparent, although Kurumi is reluctant, and they’re going to have to work through some problems. I’m looking forward to that developing, though. I’m also looking forward to more family time, with both Kurumi’s and Kaito’s family.
There was also a short story at the end, featuring a vampire and a little girl. It was cute, very sweet, although left me a little confused as to what the two’s relationship would be like later in their life. 
Also, it seems like there’s going to be a rather long wait before the next volume comes out? Like, not until April? That’s weird, right? That seems like a really long time, when it’s already complete in Japan. Maybe there’s more to it than I know of, though? 

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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