zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Captive Hearts Volume 5


Sent to you by Jack via Google Reader:


via Comics Village Reviews by Lori Henderson on 7/13/09

Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Price: $8.99

Convinced that finding the jewel of the Dragon God will release the Kuroishi family from their curse, Megumi and Suzuka travel to China together.  Will they succeed in their mission and finally break the captive spell?

In this final volume of Captive Hearts, Megumi and Suzuka go to China to fulfill the Kogami family's contract with the Dragon God, which will hopefully cancel out the Kuroishi family's curse.  But it turns out the Kuroishi weren't the only ones to have been cursed by the Dragon God, and this new group isn't as understanding about things as Megumi.

The comedy and hijinks continue in this last volume of Captive Hearts, though the burden is taken off of Megumi and is transfered to a group of villagers who were cursed by the Dragon God to turn into animals at night.  Their bumbling efforts to get Suzuka make for some laughs, as so their transformations, as not all villages turn into animals.  Some just gets ears and tails.

The majority of the volume takes place in the village, as the leader and fortune teller, Granny, tries to get Suzuka to summon the Dragon God so they can kill him.  Suzuka believes that the jewel they are looking for is in or near the village, so it becomes a race as to who can find it first and either release everyone from the curses or see the Dragon God destroyed.  While the comedy continues to pervade throughout the volume, it takes a sudden turn into the dramatic with the story of what really happened all those centuries ago, and Granny's overwhelming desire for revenge.  While I liked the concept, and am happy the Dragon God was well within his rights to do what he did, I don't care for the sudden breaks and spinout into a dramatic moment.

The volume ends with a happy ending for everyone; the villagers, Megumi and Suzuka, and even the Dragon God and his love Feicui.  And there's a surprise for Suzuka that makes the happy ending complete.  It's a little contrived for my liking, but in the author's notes, Hino states that she had this happy ending in mind the entire time, so that doesn't make it seem so bad.

There is one last bonus story at the end.  It's another romance between a student and teacher.  The story is average, but what makes it interesting, is that it's not drawn in her usual style.  The characters don't have the usual spiky-can-impale-you hair, or the super glassy eyes.  If she drew in this style more often, I might like more of her manga.

Captive Hearts wraps up with all the loose ends being tied, but with an open enough ending that more stories could be written later on.  It's a good ending, but like the manga itself, it's not great.  It's good for some laughs, and the Dragon God is pretty cool, if a little quirky.  It's a good read, but not a keeper.


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