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Mugen Spiral, Volumes 1 & 2

Note:

Ugh…I don’t even want to review this two volume series, but since I wasted $20 bucks on it, I figure I should do something useful with it–like warn others not to bother. I mean, it’s so bad, I’m not even going to have to separate posts for the two separate volumes. Okay, I may clump two together in the future with series I like, but for now, consider it a BAD thing.

I picked up the first volume because the cover looked decent. I mean, the art was pretty, I can enjoy a good shoujo now and then, eh, why not?

I was wrong—so wrong.

So we’ll get this over with, and I’ll explain just why I didn’t like the series. Hopefully, you will not make the same mistake I did. Note that I did include a purchase link–if you do decide to not heed my warning, it’d be nice if you bought it by clicking from this site so I can at least make like, 1¢ back from what I lost buying these two volumes. The option’s there, so thought I’d mention it before I got labeled a hypocrite.

I might give some of Kusanagi’s other works a go later on, like NG Life or Game X Rush, but as for Mugen Spiral…I’m just so disappointed.

*This review has spoilers. I spoil the whole end. Please proceed with caution!*

Mugen Spiral, Volume 1 & 2-Not Recommended

Mangaka: Mizuho Kusanagi
Copyright: 2004 (Japan), Trans 2007; 2004 (Japan), Trans 2007
Genre: Shoujo, Fantasy, Romance
Chapters:

Volume 1-

  • Act 1
  • Act 2
  • Act 3
  • Act 4
  • Act 5
  • Act 6

Volume 2-

  • Act 7
  • Act 8
  • Act 9
  • Final
  • Mugen Spiral Special Story
  • Mugen Spiral Side Story: ” Some Day”

 

Summary:

Yayoi comes from a long line of “mystics,” and has become the most powerful one since the passing of her mother. This power makes her number one desirable on the list of demons all over, since they can absorb her powers and become stronger. One night, her strength is tested as the son of the current King of Demons, Ura, comes to earth to possess her powers. She is nearly defeated, when she realizes she can subdue his power with the cat-bone rosary, which turns him into a cat. Now, they must learn to live and trust one another, if Ura is ever to be freed so he can save his father from a fatal illness inflicted upon him by none other than his youngest son, and Ura’s newest rival, Ouga.

Pros and Cons: Story and Content

Characters:

The characters are…okay, but they’re not very well developed. Everything about this manga seemed…under worked. She sets up what could be a good story, good characters, but then forgets what she’s doing. And if you ask me, you can’t use “it’s shoujo” as an excuse, because Inu Yasha has some deep characterizations and back story. Here, we only get a little bit, and not enough to really fully develop the characters.

I kinda like Hakuyoh, but even he doesn’t have much depth. The characters are likable enough, but just not very well developed.

Story:

Again, ugh.

I start this way. The story would be okay, if it were a complete story and didn’t side track and suck at the end. Plus, there are so many “bad guys” that just don’t even get names. It’s like, their sole purpose is to show up, cause a ruckus, and disappear. It makes the story meaningless. Yes, each encounter in some way strenghtens the bond between Ura and Yayoi, but in general, it doesn’t really help the story. It’s like an old video game where you just keep fighting King Kupa and never reach the princess, and there wasn’t really a point in doing the castle because you don’t level up (not knocking Super Mario Bros, I love it, but you gotta admit, lacking in story line other than Mario’s saving the princess.) This makes the series monotonous and boring. It was hard to force myself to even re-read this so I could review it. And everything is so cliched. It’s like a bad Inu Yasha. You’ll notice I keep bringing up Inu Yasha. Yes. Because in essence, Ura might as well be Inu, and Yayoi might as well be Kagome. Only nothing really moves the story forward. We almost see the story progress, and in Act 7, you’re like “Whoa! Awesome new bad guy!” but do you even get his name? Nope. You have to read the character note for Ouga to find out who Matsu is.

And that’s the thing that ticks me off the most! You finally get some good action, and some stuff is finally going on, when it all stops. Act 7 really is the end of anything that matters to the story. From there on it’s just “we want Yayoi for her power” and Ura’s all “you’re not gonna get my prey” which is sooooo lame I can’t begin to express how lame it is. It’s cheesy, and it misses just as it’s starting to get good.

There are so many holes in this manga. Really, and the translator wasn’t so great, either, because he/she changes how to spell Hakuyoh in the second volume! He/she drops the “h” randomly. Why? We don’t know!

The thing is, the characters (with the exception of Hakuyoh) aren’t true to who they have been drawn out to be. Ura is supposed to be a very loyal, determined man (de-MAN), desperate to save the father he loves. But he just drops the ball horribly! He lets his dad, I guess die, we don’t know, because he wants to live with the woman he’s fallen in love with! Way to go, neglect the man who raised you and made you who you care cause you’re all hot for the spiritualist. Here’s a thought: Why don’t you and Yayoi travel to the demon realm together and use her healing powers that way! You ever think about that! Hell, in the “special story” Yayoi’s so strong as a little girl, she’s able to save her future self from the darkness inflicted upon her by Ouga. Why didn’t Ura think about that one? It wouldn’t have been hard for Kusanagi to take Act 8 and have that be Ura and Yayoi saving King Araku, then the Final Act have the show-down between Matsu and Ura, saving Ouga in the process.

But then, that would have made sense, wouldn’t it?

I have only one pro to say: it’s sometimes funny. A little bit. But this does not change anything. It might have been okay, but with the crappy ending, I don’t think the story’s really redeemable. Sorry.

Pros and Cons: Art

The art was fine. It’s in the same vain (though a little different) as Sailor Moon. Eyes are a little smaller, and it’s less glitzy, but it was pretty and had pretty boys and girls. I’ll give Kusanagi credit for the art, it really is good. Not ground breaking, but pretty.

Conclusion:

Read this series at your own risk. I truly advise even bothering with it, because you’ll just get as frustrated as I did, and there’s no resolution at all. Hell, if you must read a “mystic traps demon’s power and goes on journey” then just pick up Inu Yasha. It may be “action” but it’s got enough romance and love triangles to keep your shoujo’s heart pumping. Don’t waste your time on this one. If you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Mugen Spiral, Volumes 1 & 2-Not Recommended!

Citations

Kusanagi, Mizuho. Mugen Spiral. Trans. Nan Rymer. Vol. 2. Hamburg: Tokyopop, 2004.

Kusanagi, Mizuho. Mugen Spiral. Trans. Nan Rymer. Vol. 1. Hamburg: Tokyopop, 2004.

Posted in Blog: Cerulean Sessions, Blue's Reviews. Tagged with , , , , , .

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