Author/Artist: Christy Lijewski
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: March 2008
Synopsis: “After unexpectedly leaving Cree and his passion as Faust’s bassist, Izsak once again finds himself on the streets that he knows all too well. But a conversation with a mysterious stranger convinces him that his future may not be as solitary as he thinks. Meanwhile, the heartbroken Cree wants Izsak back – but Rail still thinks he’s dangerous. Emotions run rampant and mysteries begin to unravel as RE:play continues!”
Volume two of RE:play picks up where volume one left off. Rail continues his questioning about Izsak’s condition and related habits while Cree remains concerned over their friend’s disappearance. Meanwhile Izsak wanders the streets until thoughtful words from a ‘stranger’ bring him back to Rail and Cree’s doorstep.
What seems most striking upon finishing this book is how needless a lot of it seems. Very little new happens, and while there’s some time dedicated to back story poking, most of what’s presented here seems like it could’ve easily been removed. Perhaps it’ll take a read of volume three to make the information here feel more relevant, but in the meantime this book may leave readers feeling a little unfulfilled. At least there’s still the amusing character interaction and artwork to carry the story along and some spots that manage to bolster the hope of more interesting things to come.
Lijewski’s artwork is still a fun manga-inspired art style with a heavy layer of punk overlaying everything. The influence of Kubo Tite (manga-ka of Bleach) is very evident here and the artist even throws in a little spoof chapter page to emphasize. The clothing designs are unique and ever changing, keeping the characters eye-catching upon every re-entry. Sometimes the characters are a little hard to tell apart due to similar facial structures and hair but any main character, that readers should be most focused on, is designed differently enough to make this a small qualm.
With an unavoidable pun, RePlay volume two’s content is unfortunately a mere replay of the synopsis on the back of the book. If you’ve read that, you’ve basically read the book. While the art is appealing and some character interactions entertaining, there just isn’t enough substance here to make for a very captivating read, offering little new information and few questions that the first book didn’t already bring up. As the artist herself states in the book: “Wow. This volume answered nothing, did it?” While still enough here to leave interest for volume three, volume two will probably remain a book easily forgotten in this series’ run.