I am back at it again with a quick overview, of a series no one cares about but me; yay! While I am keeping with Higuchi-Sensei’s series, this time am upping the difficulty with. It’s two whole volumes long this time! So without further ado…
“Reikyou Kaden” is the story of Yuika Aoi, a high schooler who lives with her grandmother. Their home is older, and at times it appears that her grandmother is more then she seems. Yuika is plagued by dreams where a green-eyed man name Rei, repeatedly dies in battle with fairies. One day after waking from such a dream and attending school, Yuiko falls from the roof and is transported directly into a battle between Rei and a fairy. This time she’s determined to save Rei, no matter the circumstances.
Aside from it being another Higuchi Daisuke manga, there were a lot of positives in regards to this series. The first being the succinct story, being two volumes and seven full chapters with an additional ‘outtakes’ section as a bonus. Given this Higuchi-Sensei’s first attempt at a fantasy story, the fantasy elements were standard but still striking and beautiful. I like the take on supernatural time travel combined with the Japanese folk lore of a fairy doctor. The cast of characters was small, but fairly diverse in regards to age and occupation. Overall, I remember reading this series quickly and was gleeful at the ending because my little shipper heart was so happy.
However, in retrospect there are some significant flaws with this particular story. The story doesn’t take any time to explain anything, we’re thrown in and have to figure it out. Lots of details of backstories are shown rather then explained, a positive in most cases, but really could have used a follow up explanation. The pacing was rapid fire moving from one situation to the next, with a bridge between scenes but not enough to catch your breath. At first read it was an exciting change of pace, but at second read it just comes off as rush.
Additionally, with the lack of clarity in the situation, is the cast themselves. The main focus is on Rei and Yuiko of course. They get their development as individuals and in their own relationship, including the sweet conclusion. However, the side cast suffers in this case being introduced and reoccurring often, but never getting into any of their stories beyond what will let the plot run.
With my bias included, my mixed feelings stem less from Higuchi-Sensei’s execution and more for why I perceive the series was produced. It’s made clear that the series is part of a “Cool Japan” Campaign, in addition to Asuka comics DX’s 25th Anniversary promotions. I have a lot of opinions on both those points, but let’s just say I have to crinkle my nose at it.
“Reikyou Kaden”, is a series that pales in comparison to it’s contemporaries and to Higuchi-Sensei’s other works. It’s an enjoyable as a fast-paced supernatural fantasy that’s good for a quick read, but doesn’t hold much re-read value as a whole. Unless you’re a Higuchi-Sensei super fan like me, it’s something you can safely pass on.