Manga-ka: Yutori Houjyou
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: May 2009
Synopsis: “You’ve already met Keiichi Maebara and his mischievous friends in the Abducted by Demons Arc. But Oyashiro-sama’s curse is poised to strike anew in Hinamizawa village. When Keiichi spots tomboy Mion working at a maid café, he can hardly believe his eyes! But it’s not Mion after all — it’s her identical twin sister, Shion. Keiichi’s never heard of this “twin sister” before and suspects it’s just another one of Mion’s pranks. But through Shion, Keiichi is able to see a quieter, more feminine side of his best friend, even if it is all an act. As Keiichi spends more time with Shion, however, Rena grows more accusatory…”
When I first started reading this volume, I couldn’t help but think I’d read it before. It has all the same characters from the Abducted by Demons Arc it just happens that most of the story takes place before the beginning of that arc. In this one, there are only a few hints toward the eerie truth of the town, and honestly they aren’t all that big.
Mostly, this is just an adorable school life story that helps to give more background on the history of the town. In some ways, this book is eerie if only because the end result is known to anyone who has read the Abducted by Demons Arc.
But then, this story does take a slightly different turn from its sister arc. When the time of the Cotton Drifting Festival comes around, it is the newly introduced Shion who begins telling Keiichi about Oyashiro-sama’s curse. There are slight twists in how he learns about the story, and it seems that from here on out, the story will take a slightly different twist. It should be interesting seeing how things change.