by Taiyo Matsumoto
BW, 216 pgs w/ ads
$9.99 US / More in Canada
If you follow any sort of popular culture for any length of time you are likely to find yourself settling into specific genres of styles for periods of time. This is easier to do when your access to genres and styles is limited. I had always heard manga offers a far more wide range of stories then North American comics, mainly because manga is the pop culture mainstream and not a fringe stream like comics in our own country. This certainly may well be the case, but after reading and reviewing English translated manga for a period of years, I have come to realize that while our Japanese brethren are enjoying a full spectrum of manga, we here in North America are getting only a minor segment. Recently, the quirky comedies, mecha, magical girls, beautiful boys and unlikely romances have started to blur together. This is a frustrating state to be in as a reader because you lose sight of moments of originality in each story. It is downright hazardous as a reviewer because you start to lose sight of what makes a good story…well…good. All you start to focus on is how much everything is so similar.
Thank god then for books like Blue Spring, a manga that is so different from anything currently being offered that it snaps you right out of that dangerous mind set with its multitude of unique perspectives in both story and art. Continue reading