Oct. 5th, 2010

starlady: (orihime)
Takemiya Keiko (story by Mitsuse Ryuu). Andromeda Stories vol. 1. New York: Vertical, Inc., 2007. [1982.]

In the wake of the wildly successful sci-fi classic Terra E…, Takemiya Keiko teamed up with popular SF novelist Mitsuse Ryuu to create Andromeda Stories, which tells the story of a certain planet in the Andromeda galaxy and its tribulations in the face of an insidious force of machinic invaders: the reign of Prince Ithaca and his bride Princess Lilia begins auspiciously, but by the time their son Jimsa is born, things have taken a precipitous slide.

I liked Terra E… a lot, and this manga is interesting too, even after thirty years. The art is very much of its time, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (though I do wonder why everyone looks like they walked out of concept sketches for CLAMP's R.G. Veda, i.e., classically Indian). Beyond the plot, which is actually interesting, the single most awesome thing about this story so far is Il, the surly swordswoman in vaguely Japanese (Chinese?) clothing who comes to the planet in an attempt to save it from the invaders and who has no interest in cooperating with anyone ("I'm not your friend; I'm their enemy."). She is a swordswoman! She is stoic! She appears and disappears at random and knows way more than she lets on! These are character traits that are right up my alley.

Andromeda Stories sold horribly in English, but if you're interested in classic shoujo manga, you have to read Takemiya Keiko. I have some quibbles with the translation (principally, WTF are the sound effects not translated, and secondarily, why do translators not realize that when people address someone as 王 or 王妃, a more natural translation than "King" or "Queen" is "Your Majesty"? Argh), but Vertical puts out probably the nicest English-language manga on the market, and overall it's well worth the read, and very readable.