SOMEDAY’S DREAMERS: SPELLBOUND (Mahôtsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto Taiyô to Kaze no Sakamichi, “The Things Important to Magic-Users: Road of Sun and Wind”) (?????????? ???????) • Norie Yamada (story), Kumichi Yoshizuki (art) • Tokyopop (2006-2008) • Kadokawa Shoten (Dragon Age, 2004-2006) • 5 volumes • Shônen Fantasy Romance • 13+ (infrequent language, brief mild violence, brief partial nudity, brief mild sexual situations)
Set in the same universe as Someday’s Dreamers, this vague followup has totally new characters and a completely different theme–from the former’s episodic heartwarming tales of magical wish-fulfillment to this manga’s school romance in which magic hardly plays a role. Nami, an insecure girl who is ashamed of her weak magical powers, meets a troubled new working-class transfer student, Ryutaro, who initially seems to be a violent jerk but gradually opens up to reveal a tragic background. Partially narrated in the first person by Nami, the story follows the blossoming of a depressed, isolated girl, from blushing glances to romance, while her circle of friends gradually grows. The result is an unsurprising but very readable love story, a story in which the moral “magic is from the heart” is redundant–the heart’s already there. Yoshizuki’s art is polished and screentone-heavy. The setting, the real-life city of Nagasaki, is depicted in charming detail.
Since I’m playing catch-up today, I have two winners to announce: Zachary S. of Pennsylvania and Andrew L. of New York. Congratulations, you guys! Once you get your manga, send me a photo like Chad B.:
Chad posted his photo on his pop culture blog Gainjinside, which is partially down at the moment but should be up at full speed on February 22. Thanks for sending me a link to it!