cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 7-8

I'm trying to clear off may manga shelves. I'm reading novels too but that takes longer :-)

A Wise Man Sleeps Volume 1 (A Wise Man Sleeps)A Wise Man Sleeps Volume 1 by Mick Takeuchi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had really liked Takeuchi's other series and this one was about alchemy so I thought why not. Parts of it are interesting and other parts are disturbing. Miharu is another tsundere girl who is down on her luck. Her mother died and her father ran off abandoning his daughter with all his debt. IN fact her creepy boss wants her to sleep with him to wipe them out. She's also met up with a rather cryptic, slightly older man in black, Rintaro, who tells her her ring is cursed and partially responsible for her bad luck. She naturally doesn't believe him.

Rintaro, however is right.Her ring's stone is a 'wise man' stone (sounds like a philospher's stone) and he's an alchemist. To save her from her boss, he dons his own wise man stone ring which brings out 'his most perfect self' and this is where it gets disturbing. Rintaro's usual form is dark haired, a bit mousy and relatively nice. But his perfect self stands taller and is SO confident he's downright arrogant and he's horribly sexist calling her all sorts of pet names 'kitten' 'baby'etc which would be okay if they were dating or something. Here they're just patronizing. However, the truly disturbing thing is that perfection means he becomes a blond man (as if his Japanese appearance is an imperfection and this is done by a Japanese mangaka. I'm not sure if he's supposed to look like a blond Japanese man or entirely Western).

Frankly his 'perfect form' and her explosive nature made this a tough one in that respect. Otherwise it reminds me of Friday the Thirteenth tv series or Warehouse Thirteen or other find the haunted/cursed artifact, in this case, gemstones and jewelry.

I did like the episodic nature though. From there it went into one with the boss's son who Miharu seems friendly with but he has a possessed ruby that turns him into a would be rapist. After that Miharu decides to work for Rintaro at his jewelry store and wants to be an alchemist (especially after she had accidentally ingested her wise man stone.).

together they keep a little girl from being hurt by her mother's ghost and saves Miharu's actress friend from a cursed cameo. It could have been a good storyline if Rintaro's alter ego wasn't the douchebag type alpha male trope (but this is probably meant to be a romance and that type of man is a dime a dozen in romance).

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A Wise Man Sleeps Vol. 2 (v. 2)A Wise Man Sleeps Vol. 2 by Mick Takeuchi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is all that there is of this one. Go!Comi, the publisher, is gone and in Japan itself there were problems with publication. There was a year between this volume and the first as the publisher was bought out and the new publisher no longer wanted it to be a 'horror' manga so now it's more of a paranormal sleuth thing. I get the feeling this died in Japan quickly too.

Here's the thing. I like episodic storylines. As far as I can tell other than Rintaro looking (or not) for other wise man stones and Miharu wondering about her run-away Dad, there is no major story arc. They are alchemists looking for cursed stones and nothing more. The publisher barely bothered with a blurb because what is there to say other than that?

We have a gimmel ring that's been damaged and calling up the Grim Reaper to kill all the family children This ran about a third of the book so the episodes are longer than book one. An sapphire whose dead owner is keeping anyone, especially his wife, from touching it is the next arc, also longer. Then there two shorter arcs with opals that supposedly cause the family's business to fail and an emerald hooked into an apparent suicide.

The stories were enjoyable but I'm not sure it would have been a sustainable storyline as just episodic fic. Rintaro's 'perfect' form was toned down a bit and less of an arrogant douche (but he still was a blond which is slightly disturbing to me). The art was nice but if you're looking for older manga, you would be better off with the mangaka's other series, Her Majesty's Dog which is the only one fully finished in English.

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Tags: manga, urban fantasy

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