Direction: Left to Right
by: Yui Hara
Before his death, Kazuki’s father told many stories about Artemis, a magical star not unlike their own, Planeto. Now an orphan living with his brother, Kazuki daydreams constantly about Artemis, despite his brother’s warnings that the planet doesn’t actually exist. Then one day, Kazuki runs into a girl from Artemis…who disappears and is quickly replaced by another girl…who puts a curse on him that he can’t remove unless he finds the witch of Artemis…who happens to be the first girl he saw! But when he finds her, he discovers she’s much more than just your typical sorceress. Magic and the struggles of growing up intertwine in this tale of learning to follow your instincts in spite of your best – or worst – intentions.
Kazuki our lead is, well, frankly a pathetic character. He’s generic in every so much so I wanted to smack him one by the end of the first volume. He has no personality to speak of, and I’d lay odds he’ll suddenly change in a later volume.
Marie is as generic as Kazuki, though at least her generic tsundere personality gives her a more vibrant feel. Though again there’s nothing really special about her to really make a great character from.
Viora, or protagonist is the character of the series (so far). She has a sweet personality, but does apparently evil things, and does come out with some interesting comments. Though admittedly we do only get a few scenes with her, those scenes leave the deeper impact on me.
Sadly this series failed to impress, though granted it was just the first volume, and yes there were a few things I did like about it. The way the title is displayed, and the actual cover art, is a bit misleading. It looks like a shojo series, but it isn’t, or at least not on a level I consider shojo, rather it’s a shounen.
So, which elements did I enjoy? Firstly we have the way Yui has laid out her art, there’s a reduction in actual panels and the panels we do have are larger and more detailed. This does mean there’s less story, but it also means what story we do get can be displayed bigger and better. Sadly though this isn’t always the case, and I will admit to finding Yui’s art a bit lack lustre at times.
However the art can and does occasionally live upto it’s space allotment. Marie on the cover looks stunning, and on a few occasions within the volume in the larger panels, the characters and back-drops look and feel perfect. Of course there’s also times when they look plain old crap as well. Over the course of the volume the art really did fail to impress, as a whole. I loved the fairy and also Viora’s outfit and designs and sadly little else.
The story is even more generic than the characters, so much so that i could probably write out the story myself with little effort. Generic stories aren’t a bad thing, since lets face it, given the number of manga out there someone will always (pretty much) have done the story before. So a generic story isn’t a necessary negative. However to overcome this you need to have several other elements to cover it. An excellently written and laid out plot, excellent art, and excellent characters. Yui sadly doesn’t have these.
So what other elements did i like? Honestly, none, the other thing that caught my attention was the possibility of one panel, where Marie and Viora meet. That encounter gave me hope that the series could grow into something beyond plain and boring, which is what I’m hoping for.
Though whether this will be the cases isn’t known, as the series is no longer listed on either Tokyopop’s web site, other on their web-shop. Though you can google directly to the page.
On the up-side there’s a few pages of extras, which are appreciated. Concept drawings and character introductions. We also get a a full page drawing of the fairy, which is just so damned cute and I’m hoping we get to see more of her in the future.
This isn’t a series i will actively follow, but I will pick up the next volume or two, if/when they’re eventually released. Just to see if it turns into a decent story, or stays monotone and boring.