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Arcana
by Cypher-Khan on April 17th, 2005, 6:42am

Rating - 8.8 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 5 out of 5
Enjoyment - 5 out of 5
Overall - 4 out of 5

Click here for series information

Mangaka Kotegawa Yua

Plot/Story

The world is not as clear cut as most people believe it to be. Standing behind almost everyone is one or more spirit.

A lost girl with no memories has the ability to see and communicate with these souls and no-one is sure why. When a doctor calls a school to ask them to evacuate because of a bomb the police are dragged into the event. They question the doctor and he reveals that it was his patient’s prophecy.

Thus begins the strange relationship between the lost girl (later named Maki [after a department store bag]) and Murakami a detective from the first division who has an unusually powerful spirit standing behind him.

Characters

Lost girl (later named Maki); No-one knows where she came from, who she is, why she can see spirits, why she can force others to see spirits and why she can move hundreds of kilometres in an instant... But she can... go figure...

Detective Murakami; Behind him stands a powerful spirit and it exerts its influence to protect Murakami. Murakami himself is an interesting person and over the two volumes he just gets better.

Detective Nakabayashi; he’s a fool detective who does nothing but sink further and further into debt... He's Murakami's partner and their antics with Maki will get them transferred through basically every division in the force.

Michiru; An awesome girly-boy with an extreme aura of violence (This guy is almost half my reason for liking this manga).

Drawing Style

Very well drawn. Kotegawa Yua has an odd kind of style, never before have I seen such violence and bloodshed side by side with super-cute chibi faces... it’s a very strange contrast and I can’t think of anywhere I’ve seen something similar (Anne Freaks not-withstanding [same mangaka])

Anyway; they are beautiful characters all are nice to look at and the hair and eyes are very detailed. This is worth owning just for the art alone.

The spirits are sometimes just plain freaky.

Enjoyment

If guys ripping their own hearts out and super-deformed chibi faces are your thing then you should like it. If you’re looking for something funny; skip this title; if you’re looking for something super-violent; skip this title... if you’re looking for a strange blend of both, then by all means read Arcana.

Overall

The manga is only two volumes long so it’s not really easy to do the characters and the story justice; this is where the manga fails. It’s beautiful to look at, and has an interesting story and an interesting cast... but there’s just not enough time. Natsu (a late introduction character) could simply have been removed and no-one would ever know the difference. The only characters with *any* development are Murakami, Maki and Michiru. And its just not enough as far as I was concerned.

Overall it wasn’t too bad a finish; its very open and only one thing is resolved (regarding Maki)...

But; the shortness of the manga shouldn’t really be held against it. It’s still worth a read.

And I can’t not mention it; the omake at the end is priceless!!
 
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