Friday, March 21, 2014

Manga Review: Phantom Dream, Volume 5, by Natsuki Takaya

Rating (Out of 5): ~3 (maybe 3.5)
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: 2010
Volumes: 5
Spoilers?: No.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Book Depository. Powells. RightStuf.
Volume:  1.

Amazon Synopsis:

This is the final volume ...from the creator of "Fruits Basket"! In the thrilling climax to "Phantom Dream", Hira's sad past of abuse is revealed, Eiji finally finds her place in life, and Tamaki and Hira battle for the last time...

What Will I Miss?:

  • I'll mostly miss the way Takaya creates her characters, and how she can form such a unique group of characters. She definitely gets better as she writes, and this wasn't her best, but it's still there.


I’m not sure what I was expecting from this. I’m a huge fan of Fruits Basket, but I knew this wasn’t going to be similar, and I was pretty sure it was an earlier work (which it is).
I think my biggest problem with the series was that it was rather slow and hard to get into at times. Maybe I just wasn’t all that caught up in the plot or characters, but there were times where I paused reading the next volume for a little too long.
The art is obviously her earlier work, but it’s still pretty, if a little hard-edged. Knowing that her art gets better later really makes me want to read her newer stuff, though.
I didn’t connect with or grow fond of most of the characters, sadly. I don’t think there was enough development or time with the others for me. I did like Tamaki quite a bit, and felt for him at certain times. My favorite character was Asahi, though, no doubt. There was a point where I was a little unsure of her, but I liked her perky personality and her strong, loving feelings and devotion to Tamaki. For that alone I was really happy with the ending.
The plot went in a couple directions that I wasn’t expecting, which I liked. There were a lot of interesting characters introduced, even if I didn’t get to know them enough. I was satisfied with the ending, and am glad that I read it. 
It’s also really made me want to re-read Fruits Basket (god, why didn’t I buy the volumes when they were in stores?!), and it’s made me hope even more that some company will pick up another of her series over here.

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