Monday, March 10, 2008

Yozakura Quartet Volume 1

Overall Rating: B-
Synopsis: A supernatural comedy manga created by Suzuhito Yasuda, the series follows the members of the Hiizumi Seikatsu Soudan Jimusho (Hiizumi's Everyday-life Consultation Office), a group of three women with superpowers and one normal guy. As Del Ray (the publisher) puts it, "Hime is a superheroine. Ao can read minds. Kotoha can conjure up anything with the right word. And Akina . . . well, he’s just a regular guy..."

In addition to being a superheroine, Hime is also the mayor of Hiizumi and has been since her grandmother died (apparently being mayor is hereditary here). She and the rest of the team take care of the town from problems, both mundane and supernatural. Akina is the manager of the team, which apparently involves offering moral support for the women, and gets stuck paying for the food.

The first volume consists of a few stories to give us some connection to the characters and the story. The first one gives us an idea of who the team is, and then we get stories focusing on the women. The one for Hime focuses on a lost dog, that Hime seems uncharacteristically harsh to and then turns into a demon. We also have a story dedicated to Ao, and the fact that she has concerns about whether she has the right to read the minds of others. Finally, we have the story focusing on Kotoha, who wants to take a trip to Germany and we find out just how odd she is.

In my opinion, Yozakura Quartet had it's good and bad points, but the good won out. However, let's start with the bad. The plot of the stories leaves a lot to be desired, with long buildups and not-as-exciting-as-I-was-hoping adventures. However, it has a lot of promise, and the creator hints that volume 2 may pick up some. On the good side, I love the art, the characters are really interesting and fun, and the concept is great. I'm hoping volume 2, which comes out May 20th, will pull me in even more.


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