Friday, December 07, 2007


My reviews of Japanese-language manga may have conveyed the false impression that I can read Japanese easily. In fact, reading a manga thoroughly and looking up every word I don't know is still a laborious and time-consuming process for me. It's often more like work than fun, even when I enjoy the manga, although it's worth it in the end. And because it's time consuming, I'll often get distracted from one series by another that I just picked up, and neglect to go back to the first series. (I have a huge backlog of Japanese-language manga I've yet to read.) This is why, although I purchased the other two volumes of Partner (by Miho Obana) shortly after finishing the first one, I finished reading the last volume only a few days ago.

Now that I have finished the series, I'm sorry I waited so long. I highly recommend it: it's intelligent, suspenseful and moving, with visceral jolts scattered throughout. I can't say much about the plot of the last two volumes without spoiling the first, but I'll just say that things get a lot worse for the protagonists before they start to get better. The series probably fits the horror category best, but horror in the sense of "a series of creepy or menacing things happening" rather than "tons of gore" (of which there is very little). It's more mature than, and superior to, Kodocha, Obana's best-known series and the only one licensed in the U.S. so far.

Unlike the first volume, there are no bonus stories in volumes two and three: the main story runs the entire length of the volumes, except for a few pages at the end of volume three in which Obana's assistants greet her readers. My first post, linked to above, contains publishing info for all three volumes. And they're part of the "Ribon Mascot Comics" line, and are labelled as such, in English, on their spines.

Hi Adam,
I know exactly what you mean about looking up words distracting you from finishing works. As a fellow "half-fluent" japanese reader, one thing i found to be incredibly helpful is the japanese/english dictionary program for the nintendo ds. It's basically like an electronic dictionary, but way, way cheaper. I've actually been able to read novels with it, because looking up words is a much quicker process. Maybe it'll help!
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?