By Leroy Douresseaux
May 12, 2008 - 09:07
|Thanks to barnesandnoble.com for the image.|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
In Sand Chronicles, a young woman looks back fourteen years to a tumultuous period in her life – a time of transition and discovery. After her parents’ divorce, Ann Uekusa and her mother, Miwako, return to Shimane, the village where Miwako grew up. After her mother commits suicide, Ann falls into a deep depression, but with the help of friends, she comes to enjoy life again.
As she prepares to enter high school in Sand Chronicles, Vol. 2, the past comes back to Ann in the form of her estranged father, Masahiro Minase. He wants Ann to return to Tokyo to live with him and attend high school. Ann is reluctant to leave the boy she has come to love, Daigo Kitamura, but the allure of reconciliation with her father is exceedingly strong.
THE LOWDOWN: Proof positive that shoujo manga (girls’ comics) aren’t all about romance is Sand Chronicles. On the surface, this manga looks as if it’s all about teen love and romantic stuff, but it is a drama that encompasses romance, as well as family relationships, dating, long distance love, friendship, peer pressure, materialism, and money woes, among other things. Manga-ka Hinako Ashihara dares to believe that even children and teens have complicated lives that are riddled with anxiety as much as, if not more than, it is filled with carefree fun. Anything but a downer, however, Sand Chronicles is rich storytelling about the drama of life.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Aimed at teens through VIZ Media’s “Shojo Beat” line, Sand Chronicles will also appeal to adult readers, particularly fans of something like Nana.