Saturday, October 31, 2009

March on Earth, vol. 2

The story: A big secret is revealed in this volume, with an even bigger decision following it. Whatever choice is made will certainly affect Yuzu's and Shou's future, as well as that of the mystery decision-maker. In the end, it comes down to Yuzu honoring the wishes of her sister, Tsubaki. Later, when Yuzu is faced with choosing her future, she finds herself wondering what would be best for her and Shou's future. What will become of Yuzu and Shou?

Reaction: This volume was a huge tearjerker for me. There's a lot of emotion poured into these pages, making it difficult to not shed a tear or two (or several, in my case). However, there were also some fairly predictable moments, especially when Yuzu and Shou joined the class camping trip with Shou promptly becoming lost in the woods. It made me wonder where the adults were; they're kept mostly on the periphery, which seems counter-intuitive considering Yuzu's situation.

Deep thoughts: When Yuzu and Shou visit Tsubaki's grave, I was reminded of los Días de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday celebrating the dead that takes place Nov. 1 and 2. During these same days, celebrants believe that the spirits of the deceased return. Much like Yuzu and Shou do, families throughout Mexico visit the gravesites of their loved ones, cleaning the grave and leaving flowers and favorite foods, drinks, and, in the case of children, toys.

Artwork: There were some inconsistencies in the artwork in this volume -- from awkwardly shaped faces to costume discrepancies between panels. While the story was highly engrossing, I found myself distracted by these minor details. Otherwise, the art is much the same as the first volume.

The verdict: If only... While I found myself more emotionally involved in this volume, there were too many small inconsistencies for me to ignore, especially because of my high expectations based on the first volume. On the whole, though, this is an uplifting story in the end and shows the family that Yuzu worked so hard to build. March on Earth is available in the U.S. from CMX.

Review copy provided by CMX.

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