In my first manga review I was completely shocked at what I saw, but Darla D. helped me to ease back on the "Oh my goodness what on earth is going on?!?!??!!?" reaction - allowing me to see another culture's view.
Ritsuka's older brother Seimei was killed, and the murder or murders is/are still out on the streets. Ritsuka begins a new school year at a new school, and some of the teachers are concerned about his past (Ritsuka doesn't remember - and throughout the book is at war with his mother who is mad at him because he's not the 'true' Ritsuka.) All the girls instantly think he's cute and want to be his friend, but he's more of a loner and ignores them all. Actually he comes off as quite arrogant. One girl won't be put off by his lack of charm and her name is Yuiko.
While Ritsuka is in school, an older man (college kid) asks when the kids will be let out - and is told since it's Saturday they'll be let out at 12:30. His name is Soubi - who was a friend of Semei. The appearance of Soubi unlocks a world that Ritsuka was unaware of. Ritsuka is now finding himself in a world of danger and spells. He needs Soubi's help to survive and find Semei's killer.
Ok. That wasn't so bad. Now for me to unleash my confusion/and 'eww factor'.
(This book was marked for 16+)
I don't want to make remarks on a culture I'm not very sure of. That would be wrong of me, and I think that is hindering me as I read these books. In the other manga book I was shocked at the skimpy outfits of young girls while a drooling man, and her shocked brother watched from the tree lines (it was the pinup in the book - and in the very front!!) I do not know how they view young kids - both male and female - but it's shocking (to me) and I instantly want to tell them (the kids in the book) to throw on some clothes and for the grown man to leave.
I know it's the American cultural background that makes me think this. With that being said - in this book I was grossed out and shocked when the college kid (Soubi) kissed Ritsuka (the 6th grader boy) and continued to make advances on him. If Ritsuka was a college kid himself I wouldn't be freaked out, they would both be consenting. But then again, it's a kiss on the mouth and nothing else - right? That alone isn't that bad right? Like the French culture when they kiss both the cheeks, but it feels like it has more meaning to it. Over and over again Soubi tells Ritsuka "I love you". However, Soubi was told to take care of Ritsuka (by Seimei) - so maybe he's a robot or something. I have to read more into the series to find out.
I guess I am still shocked by the cultural difference and once I immerse myself more (either by research or more reading of manga) I'll loosen up.
Books in this series:
After looking around on the web it seems that this series doesn't have a new title for each new book in the series - rather is has the corresponding number. So Vol. 2 will be the next book I read.
Vol. 8 (September 2008)
Vol. 9 (I'm having conflicting results on when #9 will be published in the US. Some sources report that it should be out now, while others say it hasn't come yet)