Phantom Dream Manga Volume 2 Review

Phantom Dream Manga Volume 2 Review
Genei Musou/幻影夢想

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Phantom Dream Manga Volume 2As I mentioned in my review of volume 1 of this manga, I had to reread that volume before proceeding to volume 2. That’s because Takaya-sensei didn’t do a great job of story presentation. So a first read-through didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth (though it wasn’t a bad taste), but the second read-through came out a lot better. Plus, it helped me remember the new terms for the different mystic abilities that Tamaki has.

Now to volume 2.

Aside from TokyoPop’s cheap printing practices (at a higher cost of course), the thing that stood out in my mind where the surprising revelations that happened in the volume. Out of nowhere seemingly, we learn more about Tamaki’s mother, who Tamaki’s father was, their relationship to the rest of the Otoya family as well as the series antagonist, the Gekka family, and finally some surprising bits about Asahi. Well, I say some surprising bits about Asahi, but to be honest, Takaya-sensei hinted at them from volume one (and I did mention that in that review). Because of the twists and turns, I’ve elected to keep the spoilers down to a minimum in this blog entry.

As series adapter Ysabet and others have told me, the manga series gets better after volume 1 and they are right. While Takaya-sensei’s story presentation can still be frustrating at times (and indeed is still the case in Fruits Basket), I found this volume to be a much more interesting read story-wise. I’ve already mentioned the plot twists, but there were also elements such as a small exploration of Asahi’s and Tamaki’s relationship, stemming from the fact that one day he will have to marry another woman in an arranged marriage in order to pass along the powers Tamaki possesses. Frankly, I don’t believe this will happen by manga’s end, but we’ll see.

Man — trying to keep spoilers out makes it a bit tougher since I like to write analysis of the story. ^_^;

What I will say is that Asahi does seem to be the forerunner of Tohru from Fruits Basket. I say this because both are fairly positive about their lives (well, Tohru was until she started fretting over Kyo and the curse but that’s another matter) despite the circumstances. Both have expected, yet unexpected roles to play in the story’s resolution (at least, as I see it now for Asahi). I’d guess the main difference is that while Tohru had difficulty expressing her romantic feelings, Asahi doesn’t really have that difficulty and indeed is already sleeping with Tamaki.

I don’t get a sense for Tamaki being a pilot character for someone in Fruits Basket though.

Volume 2 sees Phantom Dream get downgraded by TokyoPop thanks to their new cost cutting measures at a higher price to you. I really dislike this not only because of the ink bleed through, but the book feels wrong as you hold it. Ugh.

Regardless, I have to say that volume 2 improves quite a bit over volume 1 in terms of story and surprises. With the main plot now well underway, we’re left with several unanswered questions as the volume ends so that I really do look forward to volume 3’s arrival — assuming I can get passed TokyoPop’s cheapness.

 

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