Manga-ka: Kaori Yuki
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: November 2008
Synopsis: “Ian and Rin used to just see spirits. Now Ian is one. Using the Fairy Cube, Ian must figure out how to stop the lizard-spirit Tokage from taking over his life and destroying any change he has a resurrection. Will Ian save Rin? Can he stop Tokage? Ian only has one change left to get his life back!”
I’m going to be frank with this one: I was totally lost for a good portion of this book. Odd as it is to say, I felt like this last volume suffered from being too much of a Kaori Yuki book. There were just too many characters who weren’t fully explained, many were dropping like flies, several were switching sides, some were actually related, some weren’t, one was a different gender, a few wanted to destroy the world and others wanted to save it, and all of them were coming about these developments at the same time, in the same place, while battling for page time against flashbacks and numerous almost-death scenes.
In the story’s defence, underneath the checklist style fashion in which events were falling into place, there still remains an interesting story. Ian still remains in the body of a child while the spirit Tokage inhabits his and aids in the preparation of a giant magical fairy ring that will open the door between the two worlds and let fairies and monsters do as they please with the Earth. It didn’t hurt that elements which seemed important in the first volume seem practically obsolete in this one, which in my opinion made some parts easier to follow (my lack of understanding of the Fairy Cubes didn’t impede me, yay!).
By the end of the book, the fevered pace had toned itself down and when I’d hit the final page of the main story arc, I let out a sign of relief, like I’d finished a bumpy fall down the stairs and finally come to a stop. Fortunately I guess it was a fairly cushioned set of stairs since despite my confusion, I didn’t feel especially injured by it and not entirely regretful I’d done it in the first place. Weird analogies aside, this final volume of Fairy Cube does atleast tie up some loose ends from previous volumes including Ian’s mother and father, Tokage’s angsty motivation and Rin’s involvement, plus tossing in some new loose ends we didn’t even know existed so it could neaten them up as well.
At the end of the main story is a related side-story that follows two of the characters sometime after the plot ends. Or I should said say includes said-characters, as the short mainly follows a teenage girl who finds herself in the middle of a messy love triangle and dangerous resulting supernatural situation. It was a nicely paced story, especially in contrast to the main body of the book, and read much like series such as Nightmares for Sale and Pet Shop of Horrors, setting up a basic plot premise that could easily continue as an episodic series.
Overall, I feel that the tone and feeling of Fairy Cube had changed pretty dramatically from the impression I got from volume one. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed by its progression. None the less, as I said, there does still remain an intriguing story beneath the tangled bits. Those who’ve read the first two volumes will undoubtedly want to read this third and final volume to have some holes filled in and a fairly conclusive ending. Not an especially bad read per say, but had the first volume dragged me along as this one did at times, I’m not sure I would’ve kept with it.