Saturday, January 30, 2021

REVIEW: RE:Play (OEL manga, vol. 3) by C. Lijewski

RE:Play is a short OEL fantasy manga. It was originally published by Tokyopop, so it looks like paper version of all three volumes are out of print, but they can still be purchased relatively cheaply. The series is also available digitally for those who don't mind that format. My copy of this volume was purchased used.

This review contains spoilers.


Izsak's encounter with a woman who seems to know him makes Cree jealous, but in the end the incident brings the two of them closer. Unfortunately, Rail is at his breaking point where Izsak is concerned - he's still nursing a secret crush on Cree and can't stand to see her and Izsak together. They fight, and before they're able to talk it out and make up, Cree is kidnapped by Niji and Laurent, the people who've been stalking Izsak. 

I didn't think Lijewski would manage it, but she actually did answer most of my questions from the previous volume. However, there wasn't enough space in this one volume to make all of the answers believable. I can't even imagine how badly Niji and Laurent's first few years must have gone, but now I'm supposed to believe that they're a happy couple and Niji just shrugs off Laurent's occasional murderous impulses? Riiight.

The name Lijewski chose for Niji and Laurent's secret organization implied things that I don't think she intended, and I really wish she'd just gone with "Section 12" and left it at that. And unfortunately there was almost no time to discuss any of the details about Izsak's identity. Based on that one scene with Rail in volume 1, I know what Laurent could do - does that mean Izsak should be able to do the same? What about Laurent's ability to change his physical age? And the whole personality change aspect came out of nowhere. There was no hint of it with Laurent at all.

Aspects of the ending were problematic as heck. First there was that little "test" Izsak had to undergo. Why should it matter if he were curious about his old life, considering that Niji and Laurent had no plans to leave it at that and go on their way? Then there was Niji's whole "you're his salvation" speech. I'm sure it was meant to be romantic, but it also meant that Cree and Izsak, two people who'd only known each other for a few months, were basically tied together forever. What if their feelings changed? And the stuff with Char and Rail just made me wince. So Char started living as a woman solely on the off-chance that Rail might one day become as interested in her as she was in him? That's...really sad.

It seems like a lot of short OEL manga series have pacing problems at the beginning and waste a lot of time before trying to cram everything into the end, and this series was no exception. It wrapped things up, sure, but not in a very emotionally satisfying way.


  • A couple pages of clothing sketches and notes
  • The top 9 entries from a fanart content, in black-and-white 
  • A page of cosplay photos
  • A new character ranking
  • A note from the author and, I think, her editor

No comments:

Post a Comment