With the December holidays rapidly approaching, I find myself drifting backwards in time, recalling the places I’ve been, the people I’ve loved, and the many variations of myself that have existed over the course of forty-something Decembers.
It’s no small joy, then, that one of this week’s new releases brings me vividly back to my early teens, when I would have loved nothing more than to be a girl with great spiritual powers, a terrifying foe to fight, and two dreamy love interests to distract me from my fate. I’m speaking, of course, of Rasetsu, from mangaka Chika Shiomi, available in English from Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint.
Here’s what I said about volume six:
What keeps this series compelling is that it is profoundly unsettled, and this applies to both the hearts of its characters and to their individual circumstances. There’s more to everyone than meets the eye. Furthermore, though each of the story’s characters is deeply conflicted, they still manage to band together into an unexpectedly warm, self-made family unit.
The love triangle between Kuryu, Rasetsu, and Yako may not be anything new to shojo manga, but it is played out in an unusually poignant manner. Each party’s strengths and weaknesses is being brought painfully to the fore, with no obvious resolution in sight.
Though this series gets off to a lukewarm start, over the course of six volumes it has become one of my favorite of Viz’s shojo series currently in release. Recommended.
It’s easy for a slow-burning series like Rasetsu to get lost in a market full of showier shoujo manga, but this would be a terrible shame. I’ve had a peek at volume seven, and things are definitely ramping up! Feed your hungry inner teen. Check out Rasetsu!