Saturday, May 24, 2014

Manga Review: Millennium Snow, Volume 1 & 2, by Bisco Hatori

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: 2007 (Omnibus on June 3, 2014)
Volumes: 4
Spoilers?: Not really.
Buy it here: Amazon (1) (2). Barnes and Noble. Book Depository. Powells. RightStuf.
Volume: 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Chiyuki Matsuoka was born with heart problems, and her doctors say she won't live to see the next snow. Toya is an 18-year-old vampire who hates blood and refuses to make the traditional partnership with a human, whose life-giving blood would keep them both alive for a thousand years.

Chiyuki makes the most of the time she has left, even though things aren't that exciting--until she comes across a reluctant vampire late one chilly night. Can Chiyuki teach Touya to feel a passion for life, even as her own is ending?


Volume 1:

Now that VIZ is releasing the last two volumes of this series, I’ve decided to give it a reread (and review). I first read it back around the time it was first released, and remember enjoying it. As I’ve said many times before, Ouran High School Host Club is one of my absolute favorite series, and so of course I’d already read this. And when I heard that VIZ was continuing it, when I hadn’t even known that Hatori had finished it, I got very excited. And knew immediately that I was going to need to reread the books, since it had been so long, I barely remembered what happened in them.
When I first started this, I was a little afraid that it wasn’t going to be as good as I remembered, and that Hatori had changed quite a bit through Ouran, so much so that this was more mediocre. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is actually still really good. I enjoyed it a lot, I am happy to say.
This series stars a vampire, his bat companion, a dying girl, and later a werewolf. The dying girl, Chiyuki, is very optimistic and upbeat, immediately accepting of the vampire, and wanting to be his friend. The vampire, Toya, is a little hard-edge, hard to get to know, but of course sweet inside, and grows protective/a little possessive of Chiyuki. Which means that he bumps heads with the werewolf, Satsuki, who comes to care about Chiyuki as well, when she is relentlessly nice to him.
I like all of the characters. This is obviously an earlier work of Hatori’s, but it still has her charm and humorous characters. The joking between them is fun. Chiyuki is a bit of a Mary-Sue, maybe, but she’s a very likable character, and I really like how easily she cares about people, and how she pushes them in just the right way until they like her, too.
I’m looking forward to getting to know them all better in the next book, as this one pretty much just introduced them all, and opened it up to wherever it’s going next. (I’m also very excited to see where Hatori takes it with the new volume, after such a long break, but I’ll talk about that more down below.)
There was also a surprising one-shot chapter at the end of the volume. It was about a girl and her best girl friend, who has this other person inside her, (a boy,) who comes out when she gets troubled. It has romantic and friendship elements to it, and I was rather surprised by it. Particularly the non-issue it seemed to have with gender. It was a pleasant surprise. It was a bit of a bittersweet, nostalgic, sweet but sad, story, but I really liked it.

Volume 2:

In this volume, there was some development between the main three, as well as a surprise with Yamimaru, Toya’s bat companion (who is adorable). There was a problem with a haunting that they worked through, and them being lost. And then we got introduced to a new character, Kei, Chiyuki’s cousin, who is extremely protective.
I am really enjoying this series. It’s very cute, and the humor works really well for me. The romance is slowly budding, and I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes in the new volume, as it’s obvious (to me) who she’s going to be with.
Kei is a bit intense to me, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen with him in the next volume. Satsuki is cute, an enjoyable character. Yamimaru is adorable, as was made very apparent in this volume. And I really like Toya. He’s a little too shy, or in denial, about his feelings, but he’s also sweet and protective, and I can’t wait to see where that goes in the next volume.
I am really, really excited to see what happens next in this series. It has been, like, ten years since this first came out, and Hatori went through an entire eighteen-volume series, and so she has obviously developed both her writing and drawing skills since then. This series could take a big turn, it could go very slow, it could do just about anything. And the release date is already so close. I seriously cannot wait for the next volume.

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