Manga-ka: Natsumi Makai
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: April 2007
Synopsis: “While on their journey, Cooro and the others pass through large and lively Maggie Vil. The soft-spoken town leader, Maggie convinces Cooro and company to go watch the world-famous coliseum games. Senri and Husky join the games after getting caught up in all the action. It seems too much action could be a bad thing. Will Cooro and the others find their way out of the coliseum?”
So as I was reorganizing my bookshelf the other day, I discovered a surprising gap books three and five of +Anima! Seems I’d somehow missed it and hadn’t noticed. Of course this was a problem quickly rectified. With it being a neatly contained story, I can see how I didn’t catch on when reading through, but that didn’t diminish its entertainment value!
As usual I found the cast of the series to be very charming. Joining them plot-wise in this volume is a rich and confident young girl named Magdala, who stands to become the ruler of the town of Maggie Vil. With her tenacious word, she leads Cooro and Husky into coliseum battles (am I the only one who found the idea of these characters in a coliseum battle hard to envision at first?), while Senri and Nana deal with some issues of their own. Magdala decides that Nana will be her new friend, whether she wants to be or not, that leads her to what at first looks like a little girls’ dream come true. It was pretty clear that Magdala had some issues and I enjoyed watching them unravel as the book progressed to its eventual end.
Aside from the usual ‘get-in-get-out’ plot, this volume also cast some more light on the mystery of the +Anima, and paves a sinister path for revelations we’ve yet to learn about the main characters’ pasts.
Interesting plotlines aside, Natsumi Makai’s art continues to be chock full of adorable, loveable (and very artistically consistent) images. I especially liked the design for Magdala as the strong use of black was a striking, and very pretty, contrast to the others.
All in all, another fun volume of +Anima that I’m glad I found my way back to. Just goes to show that if you’re not careful, you can miss some good stuff!