Manga-ka: Aqua Mizuto
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: September 2007
Synopsis: “They say that any dream can be made true in exchange for something dear to you. The Yume Kira Shoppe flies through the dusk sky as Rin the shopkeeper listens for wishes that travel on the wind. With the help of his assistant Alpha, Rin uses the magical wares of the Dream Shoppe to make desires a reality… but at a price.”
Yume Kira Dream Shoppe takes a plot that seems more suited to a horror story, reminiscent of mangas such as Petshop of Horrors, and gives it a fluffy shoujo twist. It’s a collection of short stories all strung together through the characters’ connection with the mysterious Yume Kira Shoppe. It’s shopkeeper, Rin, hears ‘wishes on the wind’ and grants them in exchange for something he deems equivalent.
The different stories focus around young schoolgirls seeking to reconcile past mistakes or have the chance to express their love. Despite the continuous theme, the different take on them and the unique situations keep the book entertaining and the tales feeling honest and fresh. The series is also fully contained in this one volume, which is both good and bad. On the upside, it stops the story from becoming repetitive due to overuse of similar chapter plots; however, the downside is that the recurring characters, and those connected to them, have no time for development, despite being the book’s most interesting attributes.
The artwork here is your standard shoujo fare; big eyes, sparkles and screen tone. There isn’t too much distinct to note about it but it’s solid and attractive. It also suits the mood of the story, which despite having a plot that follows the vein of more cynical dramas, has an overall upbeat and happily-ever-after feel thanks to the contract tweaking of the androgynous Rin.
Yume Kira Dream Shoppe seems like your standard shoujo upon first glance and many readers will probably maintain this thought through most of it while other readers, accustomed to endings less sugar-coated than these from the book’s synopsis, may also find the book a little too positive in it’s conclusions. However, with some interesting stories that will leave readers’ heart a flutter at the hopeful messages represented, it’s a sweet collection with some appealing artwork, neatly packaged in one volume, that makes it worth a look for any manga fan.