Manga Review — +Anima Vol. 2

Anima Vol. 2

Run­ning Date: 2001 — 2005
Genre: Fan­ta­sy, Adven­ture
Man­ga­ka: Nat­su­mi Mukai

Sto­ry:
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.

Thoughts:

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.

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