Monday, 31 January 2011

Someday's Dreamers: Spellbound #2 by Norie Yamada & Kumichi Yoshizuki

Also read as part of 

April 2007, TokyoPop
192 pages, Paperback 
Personal copy 

Manga, Young Adult

Self belief, confidence, courage, determination, friendships, understanding others, secrets, occasional strong language and adult innuendo plus a couple of slightly adult pictures, 

Summary from TokyoPop
It's summer break and Ryutaro's returned to Yokohama to take care of business, such as paying his respects to his deceased mother. He encounters an old friend there that makes him reflect on his life. In reflection, Ryutaro feels like he has no friends in Nagasaki and doesn't need any – surely he's simply the last to know but, there must be someone there who cares for him...

Nayuleska's thoughts
Wow. After book 1, I thought 'this might be ok'. I wish this had been book one! I was hooked the entire way through. I didn't get bored, or think huh? I found the character growth more in depth and easier to follow in this one. I mean, I liked Nami a lot more. She's a sweet girl. She wants to do her best for people, but gets down quite easily, which her friends notice. However there's a huge change when she taps into happiness - you can see her glowing at what she discovers. 

Nami's confronted with a dilemma and gets asked to use her magic. As she's still unsure about her abilities, she freezes up. However, another dilemma comes along. Nami feels compassionate towards the two people involved, and finally does some magic! It doesn't mean her life is perfect - somehow Ryutaro ends up having dinner at her home. That was a big shock for her. 

I loved how there was quite a bit of life from Ryutaro's point of view. It helps explain some of the way he behaves to others. He has a huge burden on his shoulders, and doesn't really have anyone else to turn to. He thinks no one cares in his new home town, and that only his old friends are any good. But slowly life proves otherwise. He starts thinking of others, and that's pretty much where the story ends. 

Just to add to the drama of Nami realising she likes Ryutaro, and Ryutaro subconsciously becoming aware of Nami, it turns out the Nami has an admirer from an unexpected (for her, not for the reader) quarter. It puts her in a bit of a difficult position, but she sorts it out. 

Something to note that I forgot to say about book one: there are a few points in each manga where I feel the translation wouldn't have matched the original Japanese meaning. When coarser language/thoughts are expressed, I think that it would have been phrased more politely in Japanese. Additionally some phrases might seem a bit weird in English (how people address each other when they come home/leave/do a favour). This is because it is a level of respect in Japan, and there are set phrases to say. I feel the true meaning is sometimes lost in translation. I don't have the original copies of these books, but I'm basing this on what I've seen in other manga, anime subbing, and the English versions of the books.

I did some investigation...and it turns out there is a two volume manga set of the anime Someday's Dreamers (which I've dutifully ordered). I think this one, Spellbound is based on the same principle as the anime, but is a story in its own right.  

Final conclusion
A much stronger book than the first one, this is a heart warming story about self-belief, and growing up in the world. 

Be sure to check out book one: Someday's Dreamers: Spellbound 1  

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