We have the first volume of another CLAMP series this week with another series that get’s directly referenced in XxxHolic and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, and one of CLAMP’s most famous series alongside X/1999, Card Captor Sakura, and Chobits.
Title: Magic Knight Rayearth
Written and Illustrated by CLAMP
Translation by Anita Sengupta
Lettering and Touch-up by Anna Kernbaum
Originally Serialized in Kodansha’s Nakayoshi magazine.
Available from Amazon.com
Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, and Fuu Hououji are high school students from modern Japan, with Hikaru and Fuu going to the same public school and Umi going to an expensive private school, when they’re whisked from their normal lived during a field trip to Tokyo Tower, and taken to the magical land of Cephiro, where they learn that they are the three legendary magical knights fortold in prophecy who can save the land by rescuing Princess Emeraude, who is held captive by the high priest Zagato.
The High Points
This series (thus far) has some of the excellent art that I’d come to expect from CLAMP, and it has a good mix of humor and drama.
The Low Points
We get a lot of questions, and not a lot of answers. Admittedly, this is the first volume, and that’s to be expected, but more information could really have been helpful.
Little to no blood this early on in the series, but thus far no-one has died (be they named or un-named characters) yet.
Originality: I can think of, off the top of my head, 3 other “high-school student is stucked into a magical realm” stories. The way the world works is a little different, but we’ll see what else it does to differentiate itself. 3 out of 6.
Artwork: Ahh, some of the classic Clamp art, complete with very imaginative backgrounds. 5 out of 6.
Story: Thus far the story is interesting, and has me hooked, but we’ll see how it goes later. 4 out of 6.
Characterization: The main characters aren’t ultra-deep, but we’re in volume one, and hopefully they’ll be fleshed out a little more later on in the series. 4 out of 6.
Emotional Response: We haven’t spent enough time with the characters in this volume to really get to know them. 3 out of 6.
Flow: 4 out of 6.
Overall: This could be a pretty interesting manga, after the plot’s developed later. I’m definitely going to keep reading to see where it goes. 4 out of 6.
In total, Magic Knight Reyearth Vol. 1 gets 27 out of 42.
Notes: The edition I’m reading here is the Tokyopop edition of the manga. However, as of this writing, Tokyopop has lost the licence, in favor of Dark Horse, which will be putting out compilation volumes containing 2-3 of the Tokyopop volumes per book. This will, in turn, effect the pacing of the manga.