By Atsushi Suzumi
Del Rey, 240 pp.
Rating: T (13+)
At the end of volume one, Sora, Gimmy, Mil, and Mel set off on a quest to retrieve the core of Sora’s tree. Volume two opens with this quest well underway, though Mil and Mel are mysteriously absent and Gimmy’s guardian is with the group instead. The volume starts strong as Sora and Gimmy face off with two other Amefurashi in order to prove Sora’s claim to the title. Sora learns the value of letting herself get to know humans and Gimmy learns to show Sora that he cares, all over the backdrop of a standard adventure as they head toward a final battle with the power-hungry Amefurashi, Ciel.
Sora and Gimmy’s adventure begins well, but what comes as a surprise as the volume nears its end is that this is, apparently, the final volume of the series. One can’t help but wonder if this was a surprise to the mangaka as well, since the beginning of the volume is paced as though it is the start of something truly epic. The final battle arrives abruptly, tying up loose ends in startling (and not quite graceful) haste. The result is rather jarring and even disappointing as things wrap up just as the story was finally finding its groove. The series’ ending is not entirely unsatisfying but there is a sense that much has been left untold, and it’s rather sad to wave goodbye to the story’s young characters before they’ve really had time to grow.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at PopCultureShock.
Though this volume shows great promise in the beginning, easily surpassing the strength of the first, a rush to conclusion in its final chapters keeps it from truly building on that promise.