My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Let me say this first, yes this is the first volume but technically it's the fourth. If you have not read Legal Drug 1-3 you will be completely lost and probably won't enjoy this much. The back blurb says it picks up right where Legal Drug left off and that is true. However it was a full decade between the end of Legal Drug and the publication of Drug and Drop. While I believe the ladies of CLAMP may have had the storyline hashed out back then when the publication issues arose but I doubt they had it drawn.
Why do I say that? Because the art is better now, more refined. There is less of the 1990s Gumby body thing going on. The faces are sharper, more clean and pretty. Kazahaya is definitely even more femme than he was a decade ago in looks. A weird aside: Kazahaya is drawn blond most of the time but in a few of the black and white shots he's shaded a bit darker and in the colored shot he has brown hair.
CLAMP does something that does annoy me: guest spots. Some people love that but if it gets too much it drives me away. Rikuo and Kazahaya get a new job working for none other than Kimihiro Watanuki. For fans of Xxxholic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle this is good news. I didn't mind him being here for this but I was never a huge fan of either of those things. I wouldn't want him around constantly because then I'd feel like I need to reread those to get what's going on and that annoys me.
That aside, their new mission seems simple enough take a box to a house because Watanuki cannot leave the shop (see what I mean? I don't know why that is because I never finished Xxxholic and now I'm annoyed as to why he can't leave). Of course nothing is ever that simple and they encounter a strange spirit or should I say Rikuo does because Kazahaya's powers often leave him in a faint and this time he is down for the count and pretty much taken over by this spirit.
However we learn more about Rikuo in this and what he is searching for, Tsukiko, the mystery woman. And the arc is the entirely volume more or less which feels more robust than the short episodes. Kazahaya will be changed by the end of it a little and Rikuo goes off on his own to do more searching. Unfortunately someone is searching fo Kazahaya and she seems pretty unbalanced which could make for interesting drama later.
There was less of the shonen-ei flirting in this and a little less of Kazahaya being annoyed with Rikuo. I hope to see that continue. Don't get me wrong. I want them to be a couple but I want it to move beyond that adolescent nonsense (okay they're only 18 but still). I was happy with this in spite of the decade long wait. I hope this time they'll get to see the story out to its conclusion.
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