Running Date: 2001 — 2005
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Mangaka: Natsumi Mukai
Shunned and branded as outcasts, the +Anima continue to search for their place in a perilous world… When Cooro is tricked into helping a nearby town, the +Anima must unite if they are to ever see their friend again. But after crossing paths with a new +Anima, will the bitter sting of betrayal tear this group apart?
Summary: (Chapter 6 — The Secret of Beehive Manor — Part 1):
The first chapter of this volume starts off with an introduction to the conflict. Lady Beena’s (she’s dressed like a bee, living near a village that raises beehives. Get it? Beena. Funny, huh?) son presumably turns into a beastly +Anima. Our heroes, Cooro, Husky, Senri, and Nana are on their marry way. Nana complains about how they’re always camping and that she wants to sleep in a bed for once. Cooro says that he likes camping and Husky adds by saying it doesn’t cost anything either. Continuing to piss Husky off, Nana says that she wants to go to Astaria, the biggest city in the country and because the king lives there. She tells Husky that she wants to marry into a wealthy family. Husky says that’s something a stupid girl would want.
Cooro notices the fragrant scent of the flowers on the trees. The gang then notices some wooden boxes in the road. Cooro opens one of them up and it turns out they were beehives! The bees chase Cooro, who used his wings to fly away, all the way to the roof of a house in an unknown village. Some men were suprised to see an +Anima.
After agreeing to take some honey to Lady Beena’s mansion due to him knocking down one of the beehives, we see some sort of person stalking him in the bushes along the way. The rest of the +Anima are looking for Cooro and run into the same men he met. Turns out that the only reason that they made Cooro deliver the honey is because they were scared that they might’ve got eaten by that “monster” that lived in the mansion. About a month ago, one of the villagers who was delivering honey to the beehive saw a monster. He told anoth villager, who then heard something most unnerving: “Gil… such bad manners.” The yound master… had became an +Anima. They figured it was okay for Cooro to go since he was an +Anima. But… Husky disagrees.
“Are you saying that because he’s a +Anima… IT DOESN’T MATTER IF HE’S EATEN?!” The +Anima go to save Cooro. On their way, they meet the “stalker” that we saw earlier, but he gets away because Nana thought he was cute, that it was probably a villager who thought it was odd for +Anima to be traveling by the village, and she doesn’t want the villagers to dislike +Anima more than they do now.
Meanwhile, Cooro arrives at the Behive Manor and is greeted by Lady Beena. He is told to wait there… while Lady Beena tells her “son” that his dinner is ready.
This volume was enjoyable, but it really wasn’t all that great. Esspecially since half of this volume were “extra” chapters consisting of a “parallel universe” that Natsumi Mukai did before the series was serialized. I enjoyed those chapters, but I felt that half of the quality was downgraded since half of the chapters had nothing to do and contribute to the main storyline of post-serialized series.
The story isn’t something to awe about, just the usual subject of being discriminated because of being different. Nothing to hate on just because it’s “usual” (See? This is the point Mukai-sensei was trying to get across!), they really pull it offf nicely without getting into it too seriously like all the other things that come across this subject.
I loved the artwork of this series. Everything was so crisp — a nice balance of cute, seriousness (when need-be) and detail (too bad I don’t have a scanner right now to show you how pretty the artwork is). Other than that… the series is average, really. But I could see why it was popular. The series ending at it’s tenth volume (presumably with an unfinished story, I think…) is a turn-off to keep reading though. But hey, it makes my selves look pretty.