Manga of the Now: Yozakura Quartet
For those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning, you will remember that my very first post was on the show Yozakura Quartet. It was not very popular, and not particularly good, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The show was about a town populated by demons and a group of 4 teenagers who deal with its supernatural problems. It’s main problems were that it had a confusing plot and terribly fast pacing. However, what redeemed it for me were its lovable cast, cool art, and a catchy soundtrack. Recently, I bought the first two volumes of the manga out of curiosity, and I now see where the anime’s strengths and weaknesses came from.
The primary cause is that this was the artist, Suzuhito Yasuda’s, first shot at writing. Previously he had only done illustrations for novels, games, and even Range Murata’s Robot. So while he may have experience writing characters, he has no idea how to write a story. While the first volume presents the setting and characters nicely, it has no plot. It focuses more the day to day lives and a small bit of character background. It almost feels like he was buying time to think of a story and elaborate on the setting since he didn’t really know what he was doing. The second volume finally gets the ball rolling by explaining the purpose of the town and giving Akina powers. However, many things still aren’t clear. The villain, Enjin has only been shown in a handful of pages, and hasn’t done anything yet. The details of Akina’s tuning ability and the backgrounds for Ao and Hime still need to be explained (although to be fair, the volume 3 preview shows that they do). With only 6 volumes released and its slow pacing, I’m curious as to how much the anime covered.
Because of the problems. the Yozakura Quartet anime was sadly doomed to failure. The lack of plot in the first 2 volumes made it hard to adapt into a 12 episode anime without feeling rushed. On the plus side, it was a very good production, and everything that was good about the manga was maintatined. I would have given the manga more time to grow before loosely basing it on the manga, but what’s done is done. It’s a shame since I really like the world of Yozakura Quartet. The characters are all very believable and likable since they don’t strictly conform to archetypes, and instead remain in a comfortable middle ground. Since only the first two volume are scanned, your best bet if you’re interested in reading it is going out and buyign it. It’s published by Del Rey, so the translation and binding quality is top notch.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Work has kept me from writing, so this felt pretty good. I’ve been a bit behind on current series. I really enjoyed the conclusion of the whole Amarti story in Spice and Wolf II. I still think the alchemist Riana is hot. I’m going to be moving soon, so I’m going to be busy with that as well. Once everything settles down, hopefully I can get some more blogging done before school starts. Until next time.