28th Dec 2008
kicking fandom’s ass since 2000
28th Dec 2008
I love Duo Brand. The art is gorgeous and the stories, while not always being graphic, are always full of great emotions and interesting plot twists. It may be a generic love story that she’s telling, but she always makes it seem fresh and interesting. This is something that I greatly appreciate because after reviewing manga for this long, the banal stories just seem to blend together and make me cranky. It’s so nice to have something that sparkles and makes me excited about writing reviews.
This release opens up with the story of a priest and his assistant charged with exorcising demons. The priest has a sword that helps him in his exorcisms, but they still leave him feeling weak and drained. His assistant, and his lover, wants him to take more care and to make sure he protects himself.
Don’t worry too much about the priest; see, there’s something that they don’t know yet and this is the thread that ties all of the stories together. Inside the sword is a spirit that isn’t going to let any harm come to the priest. In fact, there’s a whole brotherhood of spirits, living in swords, fighting and loving amongst themselves in the downtime they have between doing the jobs that they were forged to do.
The rest of the stories follow in the same vein, showcasing Duo Brand’s stoic semes and gorgeously vulnerable ukes. While I’m not always fond of the stereotypes being so well defined, there’s something about her characters that makes me accept it–even look forward to it.
Now, I vaguely remember reading scanlations of this a long time ago and thinking what a cute idea it was. June has kept the sweetness that I remember from the scanlations and has improved upon it. It’s actually pretty amazing how far June has come from their first releases with their fairly painful translations. While I still think they release too many school-boy romance titles, I’m pretty pleased with them as a publisher. I’m hoping that we get more Duo Brand stuff released here and soon. We need more quality stuff like this!