Friday, April 17, 2009

Wish, A Celestial Shoujo by CLAMP

Ah, what to do, what to do. This manga holds intense sentimental value for me, as it was one of the very first series that I bought…yet even that cannot disguise the many flaws and problems that are present. However, do not fear, dear reader: I shall do my best to stay strong and remain as clear headed as possible.

An angel and a doctor is a rather strange pairing, but those are circumstances that our two protagonists, Angel Kohaku and Doctor Shuichiro, find themselves in. Kohaku is on a mission from God (sorry Blues Brothers fans, it's not to get the band back together) and while carrying out her mission, she is saved by the gallant Shuichiro. The title is derived from Kohaku’s desire to repay Shuichiro for his kindness as she declares she will grant one wish for him. So, the gauntlet has been thrown, the cards have been laid, the chess pieces are in motion, and the Jenga tower has been constructed. As far as plots go, it's not the most original, but it does the job considerably well.

However, there are some problems that arise. CLAMP makes heavy use of the “I’m-about-to-say-something-INCREDIBLY-important-so-listen-closely-to-me…” and something always always ALWAYS interrupts. ARGH. It’s okay to use it once, but it’s like an extra life in Mario: once you use it, you can’t use it again! There’s also the rather strange division between the first three books and the last book. From the way the first three books developed, I thought the story was going in a certain direction…and then BAM. The fourth book blindsides you like a bowling ball out of nowhere, crams a bunch of events in, and then wraps it all up in the very last chapter. It’s somewhat bewildering, and I felt that maybe CLAMP hadn’t quite planned the story out completely at the start and were kind of left scrambling at the end.

The cast of characters grows exponentially with each book, creating those huge networks of personalities that Clamp is so well known for. Though all these characters are very prettily drawn, I felt like they were somewhat lacking in terms of spice, zest, oomph, zing and other things that make people interesting. I’m not saying that these characters weren’t likeable, but they were just all the same. Kohaku and Shuichiro were both incredibly naïve and sweet, and the rest of the cast were…well, ANGELS. Literally and figuratively. No one had any faults whatsoever, and even the devils (literally devils; where there’s a heaven, there’s gotta be a hell) were essentially pure hearted and kind. The worst thing that anyone ever did was shrink someone with a shrinking potion. OOH. SCARY. Of course, this series was only 4 volumes long, but still, I prefer some character variation, where different sides of personalities are revealed, not just the sugary sweet part.

Drawing Style
As I mentioned before, the characters are drawn very prettily, and this series is unique in that it showcases the talent of Mick Nekoi, the puppy dog girl from CLAMP’s many omake! Extremely detailed and delicately drawn, the series is quite a piece of eye candy. My only complaint is that sometimes Shuichiro’s shoulders were RIDICULOUSLY large. But that’s my only one!

Eat your heart out, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Like I said earlier, this manga holds great sentimental value for me. I enjoyed it then, and I still enjoy it now; it’s one of my “Ho-hum-I’m-feeling-blue-let’s-read-something-happy” books. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a sweet story with a happy ending.


PS: Pictures taken from Mangafox!

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