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Fuuta Okeya is a normal 14-year-old boy, except for the fact that he has the ability to see ghosts. A cute girl transfers into his class one day, but acts particularly aggressive towards him. This girl called Kouko Ishigami is followed around by a ghost called East. Fuuta tries to get along with her but ends up failing after she sees the birthmark he usually keeps covered. She then declares him as her enemy, his birthmark as a cursed brand and claims they have a long history, while talking about reincarnation. Who is this girl and how are they connected?
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(Just read chapter 10) Lets get this out of the way first; this manga is NOT for everyone. The cliche shounen, high school setting and hi-jinks are nothing more than a backdrop for the real story. So if you're looking for lighthearted comedy and romance, GTFO.
That said, the shounen tag is pretty stretched here. The plot ultimately revolves around "what if the love/grudge of past reincarnations were revealed to you?" If you were a knight of the church in the past, what would you think if you met the future reincarnation of
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
a falsely accused witch who was trying to save the local village from a plague but you killed in cold blood before she could finish her work?
And she remembers exactly what happened.
Expect lots of brutal and tragic endings, alongside melancholy, quiet endings. If you like complex and thoughtful characters in your manga, this is outstanding to read. If you want simple, "good-vs-evil" characters and plots, move on.
... Last updated on March 18th, 2013, 7:47pm
The thing I like about Mizukami Satoshi's manga is, every title has its story well thought. Or at least, appear well thought. I have yet to find loose end on any character development. If there is something extra to add to character's trait, but has no direct influence to the overall plot, the mangaka just introduce it in a passing. Sometimes with a generous dose of witty humor -- which I liked very much. That makes everything look solid. And it allow the plot to progress smoothly.
About Spirit Circle, I found the mangaka have grown more ambitious. He put Chekov's gun here and there, explaining fragments and bits without showing actual connection to the grand plot -- but only a hint.
He never done this before. He never developed storyline in 'burrying landmine' style. All his previous works is more of linear naration which only escalate in timely manner. And his new adoption have made me so excited! First, because we know that those landmines will be stepped upon. And second, because we've seen how epic Samidare's last arc could be. We know they will blow spectacularly!
I'm impatient to see how the grand plot unfold.
This...Do Not Pass Up
Do not pass on this one. Read it. Reincarnation is not new, but the story, the way it deals with lives, it's great. The dialogue, the panels, the plot. I sincerely hope this one ends with a bang.
... Last updated on June 10th, 2014, 10:51pm
Mizukami Satoshi has really outdone himself, Spirit Circle is a must-read manga.
His portrayal of the main character is quite realistic; confronted with grudges from his past lives, the MC reacts much in the way you would expect him to - though he will sometimes surprise you with his strength of spirit and inner resolve. He's an extremely likable protagonist, and a large reason this manga is so awesome.
The plot is told in non-linear fashion, as the past is revealed step by step. You'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to see how the story progresses! I know I am.
... Last updated on November 18th, 2013, 5:45am
A better Cloud Atlas
I've never read the original novel, but liked the adapted movie quite a lot even though it was confusing as hell. This manga does a way better job at telling linked stores from multiple incarnated lives. Instant fav and undisputed 10 from me.
Surprisingly great! One of my favorites now.
Started reading with low expectations, thinking it was going to be another generic Shounen manga and was positively surprised.
If you can get past accepting the concept of reincarnation, memories of past lives and that souls are bound by fate, you'll find likeable characters; deep and touching story elements; rational, sensible and relatable characters; well-written dialogues; and a great mystery - all of which kept me wanting for more. This has become one of my new favorites and I'm eager to find out the mystery and what will happen the the characters.
(Latest chapter is 17 as of now.)
PS: I have started reading a few other works by the same mangaka, and Spirit Circle beats them all, in my opinion. In his previous works that I read, motivations and some other puzzling but important plot points were often unclear and/or left ignored, unquestioned by the characters, and explained too late in the plot.
... Last updated on December 17th, 2013, 5:04am
Who is this mangaka?
A lot of folks commenting here have spoken about the realism of the characters' motivations, so I won't speak about that. I too was expecting a manga like Shaman King, and was stunned with the contents of the first chapter.
In the past three years, I've had a number of intense spiritual experiences. Some them relate to past life experiences of one kind or another. Based on my own experiences, this manga depicts this in a very realistic way. I say this because I often meet folks who tell me that past lives seem to be a fantasy, and I tell them that, often times, they are related to things about your journey you don't want to see. There are good times, and there are a lot of really intense times. Sometimes, meeting folks harking from a past life is brief; sometimes it is a bit longer. Having access to past lives have more to do with healing the wounds you didn't even know you carry, than it is as a way to tell people how special you are.
The story is depicted well enough that I was moved to tears many times over the course of reading the story. Not so much for the tragedy, but rather, for the sheer beauty of how souls come together, the kind of cosmic orchestration I have seen in my experiences. The healing that takes place, it's all done out of love, both the personal kind and the transcendent kind, and I can clearly feel that from the story. And it makes me wonder... what has this mangaka experienced himself?
For the record, there are a few details that are there for dramatic or for storytelling purposes.
The manga does a good job of showing how people move from culture to culture often and changes roles and relationships. But the kinds of lives one lives varies a lot more. You might change professions or utilize vastly different talents. There are also changes in gender ... but that probably would have complicated this story.
People don't look the same either. However, when you recognize someone from a past life, you get taken by a strong sense of familiarity. Sometimes, the facial features you see flashes into one you might recognize. I think the mangaka, in choosing to emphasize certain features of each of the character, does a good job relating this aspect of it.
I've never seen a spirit circle. That's not to say that doesn't happen, it just hasn't manifested for me and I had not heard something like that manifesting for other folks. It makes for a good plot device though.
There is no such thing as an "old" soul. Every soul has been traveling the cosmos for a long time. Though it is true that some souls are more aware of others, and it has more to do with the amount of awareness one practices one lifetime after the next.
The birthmarks, and things like having your hands and arms chopped off doesn't always manifest so cleanly. There are other ways past life trauma can manifest: diseases, ailments, allergies, near-sightedness, etc.
I'm glad this manga got written and published. Perhaps, it might spark a few readers around the world to investigate this and heal.
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