Today I continue with the CLAMP reviews with the continuation of their most famous epic fantasy series.
Title: Magic Knight Rayearth Vol. 2
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, Umi, and Fuu, three schoolgirls from Tokyo who have been whisked to the magical land of Cephiro, must navigate the mysterious forest of silence to retrieve the mineral Escudo. With that, they’ll be able to gake their first steps to defeating Zagato and saving Cephiro. However, Zagato’s lieutenant, Alcyone lies in there way.
We finally get some additional setting information about the world, and basically we finally get the rules of the setting laid out here. We also get our first big fight of the series, and it isn’t half bad. The series is also really getting the hang here of juggling the comedy and the melodrama.
My main complaint with this volume is that the supporting cast is still thin. It’s not just a matter of they’re not given background, it’s that they travel with the party a little bit, and then drop out presumably never to be seen again.
No nudity. Some blood is shed, but no where near as bad as Outlanders or even Bleach.
Originality: Now that they’ve established the setting a little further, I can get a better idea about how the setting compares to other series, and thus far it has distinguished itself by the rules of the setting. Additionally, the fact that 3 people were taken from the “real world” at the same time, and have been kept together and are working together, has really come to distinguish the series from series like Escaflowne, Inu-Yasha, and El Hazard (where it’s just one person) or Fushugi Yugi (where it’s multiple people, and they end up fighting each other). 4 out of 6.
Artwork: Because of the nature of the setting (which we finally get in this volume), the very fanciful world design which CLAMP is known for in their fantasy work fits in here, as well as generally working in the setting. It also feels like they take advantage . 5 out of 6.
Story: This volume feels more like an RPG campaign, and not necessarily in a bad way – one of the challenges that the main characters come up against feel like something a particularly clever GM would come up with. 4 out of 6.
Characterization: The main 3 characters get fleshed out some, and we do get to stick around with one member of the supporting cast long enough to like them. However – as with the previous volume, just as quickly as members of the supporting cast come into our character’s lives, they step out again. 4 out of 6.
Emotional Response: Now we’re finally getting to know the main characters enough to root for them, the same way that the main characters are starting to form a nakama. 4 out of 6.
Flow: 5 out of 6.
Overall: This is one of my favorite CLAMP series thus far. 5 out of 6.
In Total, Magic Knight Rayearth Vol. 2 gets 31 out of 42.