Miscellanea and Ephemeron
03/12/2007 Archived Entry: "Manga review: Enchanter, Vol. 3"
Review by Tom Good
Sometimes it only takes one brilliant panel to elevate a manga to the next level. This volume of Enchanter had been rolling along with its special blend of humor, magic, and pinup art. And though I was entertained, the book had begun to feel more like a series of quick jokes and odd situations than a memorable plot. While our hero Haruhiko struggled to manufacture new weapons, and his schoolmate Okada chatted with their beautiful teacher, I started to wonder whether the story needed more action and tension. Then I turned the page and what I saw next really gave me a jolt.
Kawachi's next panel showed a gruesome creature pressed up against the window pane, with young Okada partly cropped out of the picture at the far side. Rather than showing the window straight on, Kawachi drew it from a slight angle, which helped create a feeling of suddenly turning one's head and seeing the creature. And placing this panel at the top of a new page generated the maximum effect, because it prevented the reader from catching a glimpse of it while looking at the preceding section. This was a perfect change of pace, expertly set up and then delivered like a knockout blow. An exciting and well drawn fight scene followed, but Kawachi already had me at monster-on-the-glass.
Enchanter deals with the relationship between human schoolboy Haruhiko and a magical demon girl named Eukanaria. This premise reminds me of InuYasha, which involves a human schoolgirl and a half-demon boy. So is Enchanter just InuYasha with the gender roles reversed? There are some similarities: both series throw their human main characters into encounters with magic and battles with demons, where they must learn how to work together with their demonic allies. And while both InuYasha and Eukanaria can be headstrong and selfish, neither is really evil.
Enchanter contains a lot more sexual innuendo than InuYasha, and in that respect it aims at older readers, but at the same time it often seems funnier. Though there are jokes in InuYasha, a more serious story usually lies right behind them. Enchanter seems more light-hearted and silly from start to finish, with only occasional moments of seriousness, and there is nothing wrong with that. Volume 3 even ends with a good plot twist that is also an effective joke. All in all, Enchanter may not be deep but it is a lot of fun, and I would recommend it.
The Wapshott Press
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