I’m back for part two of Time Killers 🙂
Yesterday we left off with A Guide to Princess Clothes, with my wishing things would be much better as the book progressed. For one, the art style has gone back to what I consider the ‘Kazue Kato’ style. It’s not completely like what you’d find in Blue Exorcist but it’s something close to it, and as we get further into the book the style seems to get closer and closer.
The stories I have left to talk about are Highway of Life Stray Star, Nirai, Master and I, A Maiden’s Prayer, Astronerd, and The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident. To be honest I can’t wait until I get to the last two!
Let’s begin 😀
Highway of Life, Stray Star
This is a uh…strange story, haha. I don’t even have words for this…Unlike the two previous stories, Highway of Life, Stray Star goes back to black and white, and a style that’s more Kazue Kato.
It starts off with the main character Miyake who has just beaten up some person in an alley, however, the beating seems to have gone too far. The guy is limp and Miyake runs from the scene of the crime, believing he’s killed the guy. Next up enters Hikaru, a little girl who is apparently Miyake’s daughter…except that she doesn’t call him Dad, she calls him Miya…and she wants to do lovey dovey things with him…when she’s older…
Anyways, I actually had to go back and reread this one like 4-5 times because this relationship between the two baffled me. Even the two side characters (Hikaru’s caretakers? Miyake’s acquaintances?) mention the two of them looking nothing alike. It could mean something, it could not.
But it ends pretty strangely (as if it wasn’t strange already).
You see, Hikaru falls after Miyake proposes they run away together (why he would be saying this to a kid is beyond me), and on their way out of the theatre (they were watching a romance movie) Hikaru trips and hurts herself. They find themselves at a hospital and then they’re selling food.
So it seemed like a flashback type of story. I’m more confused than not so I can’t really say I enjoyed this mini-story. Maybe if it had more information on things like Miyake and Hikaru’s relationship I wouldn’t be so bleh about it.
Like are they really related? How old is she really and if they’re not related how is she going about on her own? Why did he propose they runaway? Is it because he’s a delinquent? But if he’s broke, how do they plan to survive? And was Hikaru really so hurt that she had to go to a hospital? Does them opening shop mean the plans of running away were just a passing thought? Or did they move away and Miyake’s friends are visiting?
Another very short story that is pretty confusing in terms of what I should be absorbing but it’s also pretty interesting. It’s about a person drowning (what lead to him drowning is a mystery) who is saved by a strange creature.
When he finally comes to land he only has these vague memories and he wonders if everything had been a dream or not.
What I liked about this piece was the first page. It’s when the main character is drowning and he’s calling for help. The way the page is formatted makes it feel enclosed, emphasizing the fact that the character is helpless (not to mention the moments with high contrast).
But again, the shortness of this piece makes me wonder more about what’s happening: what was that creature? why did it save the main character? does it usually go around saving people? what was in its blood and did that give the main character strength? what was up with the last page where the main character looked deformed?
Yeah, stuff like that, haha
Master and I
Another dark story!
It’s New Year’s and Master (let’s call him this because he has no name) wakes up hungry. He puts his last meal into the microwave. In the time that he waits, his bowl Chawan calls out to him and says it’ll grant any wish Master wants. Not really believing it, Master tells Chawan to turn his cigarette into a pritz. Seeing this is not all a joke, Master begins making more and more wishes, such as getting a table full of food, getting a girl from Prep School like him, and gaining a whole 1,003,914 yen into his account.
From there everything spirals out of control as Master can’t contain his greed, but every wish he makes takes a toll on Chawan and when he finds himself in a dangerous predicament Chawan shatters.
I thought this story was a very interesting story and it would have been one of my favorites if the ending hadn’t been what it was. After Chawan shatters, Master keeps one of the shards and fervently wishes nothing had ever happened.
His wish is granted and he’s back at his apartment, exclaiming that rice is good.
It took away some of the darkness of Master indulging in his desires and showing how far we can go when we have the power to defy natural laws. Prior to wishing nothing had ever happened, Master finds himself cornered by some men, and trying to escape the situation he wishes they’d all die. Of course, this is when Chawan shatters and Master escapes with a fatal wound. If only this had been the ending…
I also really liked Chawan, he had an awesome personality and considering he was only a bowl he had some cool expressions 😀
A Maiden’s Prayer
Another simple story in a slightly different style, a bit more sketchy than some of the others. I’m tempted to say it was done with graphite pencil or something along those lines. I liked this story because it reminded me of some of those crazy dreams I used to have when I was a kid, where I fell through the Earth and somehow ended up falling from the sky of another world.
Which is basically what this story was about but it had more emotional elements. The end felt too much like a fairytale ending, “she fell in love, gave birth to a child, and lived happily…”
And finally we get something a bit more developed! Astronerd is a short story about a guy named Yoshio Fujiko who has just started high school.
His goal: to be reborn and shed the skin of Astronerd (astronomy nerd). Having been bullied when he was younger, the concept of being a male astronerd appalls him, but keeping all of his nerdism inside is much harder when he finds out his crush Tezuka also loves the stars.
I actually really enjoyed this funny and nonsensical story about aliens trying to take over the world, astronerds, crushes, and being yourself. Fujiko’s backstory of being bullied as a child really resonated with me, especially since it was tied to his passion at the time.
If there had been more to this story I would have read it no questions asked, haha
The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident
Ok, it’s been decided, this story was so adorable I can’t stop smiling! 😀
Nameless is a cat demon, underling to Pazuzu a cruel demon. One day, while in a garden a girl happens upon him and tries to reach out to him, promising not to hurt him and fix his wounds. Weary, Nameless flees and in an attempt to gain his trust, the girl makes a flower arrangement.
From there Nameless befriends the girl and wishes that he could be human so that they could talk to one another. Pazuzu notices his fixation with the girl and decides to take possession of those around her with the end goal of devouring her when she turns 16. Nameless tries to fight for the girl’s well being but Pazuzu strikes him down, leaving him with a fatal wound.
About ten years later and the girl, Monaka, is about to turn sixteen when an exorcist shows up at her residence.
Out of all the stories this one feels the most fleshed out and I’m pretty satisfied with all the information that was provided. There’s hardly anything I honestly need to know more about in order to make sense of the story and while the characters felt like copies of those in Blue Exorcist I did enjoy meeting them, especially Nameless (who is actually not nameless by the end of the story)!
**This one shot is said to be the prototype for Blue Exorcist so I’ll be using it for the 2015 Manga Reading Challenge, even though the author mentions this story was based off a rough draft they did for Blue Exorcist…*
Final Thoughts: I’m actually really glad I picked this book up when I did, like two years ago possibly. While not the best I did enjoy the very experimental feel and progression that it showed from the first work all the way to the last. It was experimental in terms of content (in the author’s note the author mentions that the first few stories were just random) and style (the way the work is drawn and what materials are used).
It really shows that creating something well rounded takes a lot of work (ten years was contained in this book) and that your first try doesn’t have to be the next best selling book.
I would definitely recommend checking this out!
**For a review that’s less all over the place please check out my post on Unime, thank you!**
Also, sorry if the pictures are dark >_< Thanks for reading!