Sunday, March 18, 2018

REVIEW: Yukarism (manga, vol. 2) by Chika Shiomi, translated by John Werry

Yukarism is a short fantasy series with a few historical elements due to the whole reincarnation thing. I got this volume via interlibrary loan.

Review:

Katsuhiko Satomi has arrived at Yukari's house in order to take over the housekeeping duties while his aunt is waiting for her back to heal. Yukari immediately notices that he seems familiar and figures that he knew him in his past life. But who was he? Takamura, the man who may have killed Yumurasaki? Or perhaps someone else?

The question continues to plague Yukari as he is once again transported into the past. This time around, he witnesses new sides to Takamura and Kazuma that make him wonder about everything he's assumed so far. Meanwhile, Satomi and Mahoro struggle against their past selves, who hate each other intensely.

This volume was definitely better than the first. The way Mahoro and Satomi kept being taken over by their past selves was a bit odd and over-the-top, but I loved the various revelations about their identities.

Yukari continued to be somewhat bland, but it was revealed that this blandness was connected to the way his past life had mixed with his current one. He held himself aloof from everyone because a part of him still approached life the way Yumurasaki had. I thought that aspect was interesting.

Considering how menacing Takamura was in the first volume, I was more than a little surprised by the way he was suddenly presented, in this volume, as more of a romantic figure, amusingly lovesick over Yumurasaki. He still had that edge of menace from time to time, but this time around it was never directed towards Yumurasaki, but rather always towards those who might hurt her. While I enjoyed the scene where Yumurasaki turned down his offer to buy her freedom, it was a reminder that, if he'd really wanted to push things, she probably wouldn't have had much of a choice.

Two more volumes to go before the end of the series. The past has already happened and presumably can't be changed - Yumurasaki is going to die in a fire, potentially after some kind of battle. The question, now, is who was responsible for her death, and will the events of the past lead to people in the present killing each other?

Extras:

Several author sidebars about the time Shiomi hurt her back, and two pages of translator's notes.

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