Rummanah Aasi
 It has been a while since I did a post for Manga Mondays. Manga Mondays is a meme hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read where bloggers can share their passion for reading mangas. It's a great place to get new manga titles to try and to meet new bloggers. Instead of reviewing each volume separately, I'm going to review the entire series of Sand Chronicles since it is complete at 10 volumes. I hope you like this review format!

Description (of the first volume): After her parents get divorced, Ann Uekusa and her mother move from Tokyo to rural Shimane. Accustomed to the anonymity of city living, Ann can't get used to the almost overbearing kindness of the people in her mother's hometown. But when personal tragedy strikes, Ann discovers how much she needs that kindness.

Review: Sand Chronicles is a standout shojo (i.e. romance) manga that tackles series issues as such suicide, depression, betrayal, and infidelity although at times it tends to veer close to melodrama. In each volume there are series topics that are discussed and a nice character growth arcs for its cast of characters which gives this manga series more depth unlike the many silly, typical shojo mangas. The series is framed by the seasons and time a running theme throughout the manga. In the first volume 12 year old Ann Uekusa and her mother have been abandoned by Ann's debt-ridden father and forced to move from Tokyo to Ann's grandparents' home in Shimane. At first, Ann feels both oppressed by her mean, strict, conservative grandmother and totally out of place in a small town, but once she makes some friends she adapts quickly. When her disillusioned, depressed, and demoralized mother commits suicide, Ann leans on Daigo, the first boy her own age that she met in Shimane, and their budding romance becomes the series's focus. Ann and Daigo's romance is sweet and develops at a realistic speed. Though there is a necessary love triangle in this manga, it thankfully doesn't hold much weight. The real obstacles that Ann and Daigo's relationship faces are Ann's nightmare of becoming her mother and her failure to grieve her mother's death.
   Ann is an extremely likable character. An every girl who is forced to grow up faster and become an adult. She deals with normal every day situations from a rival girl who is scheming for Daigo's affections, stumbling through the mysteries of a relationship, both romantic and friendships. Daigo is the perfect boyfriend whose only fault is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. What impressed me with this series is that the fact that the secondary characters were also strong and dynamic pushing the plot forward and not making it stale.
 I like the artwork in this series with its delicate lines and the beautiful scenery which also becomes a landmark on these characters' rite of passage. I highly recommend reading this manga series if you prefer reading true to life scenarios with a sweet romance. A great pick for Sarah Dessen fans and a really good primer for reading Nana by Ai Yazawa (a manga series that nearly broke me).

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: Due to mature themes, a few scenes of sexual situations, some nudity. I would recommend Sand Chronicles for high school readers and up.

If you like this series try: We Were There by , Nana by Ai Yazawa, Kimi Ni Todoke by
1 Response
  1. Yep, every time I see these I want to go pick up some manga.

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