Sand Chronicles Volumes 1-4 Review

IMG-20130505-001022To be honest, this manga wasn’t that bad. If you like Japanese dramas or soap operas on a regular basis, you will enjoy Sand Chronicles. It’s so sad… IT IS SO SAD. Omg…

Rating: 3.5/5 gloomy clouds35 Clouds gloomy

The series is about a twelve year old girl named Ann Uekusa who moves back to Shimane with her mother after being abandoned by her father due to debt. The first pages of the volume begin with future Ann packing. She comes across an hourglass that reminds her of her past. I admire Hinako Ashihara for her storytelling ability using the hourglass to symbolize past, present and future as well as the fleeting moments of the characters’ lives. The plot is realistic and believable. There are a lot of television drama clichés. The art is typical shojo, but the expressions tend to exaggerate to clumsy comedic scenes that seem to spike the mood just a bit plus there’s tons of text and powering through four volumes in one sitting might not be the best choice.

I almost want to recommend you all not to read this series because it’s actually more tragic than what might be happening in your life right now and I personally read manga for the laughs and the occasional philosophical reflection. Sand Chronicles isn’t just philosophical reflection, it’s placing characters in the most precarious positions possible and weaving together different sorts of tragedy and melodrama. I can only hope that in the latter six volumes, the author brings some hope and happiness into the story.

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BEWARE SPOILERS BELOW

The story generally revolves around Ann, Daigo Kitamura, Fuji and Shika Tsukimura and begins in the childhood-teen year. I initially thought Ann was wholeheartedly devoted to Daigo when they fell in love. Their childhood friendship blossomed into a sweet and innocent relationship. After Ann wrote her wish to be with Daigo forever on the Votive tablet, I really hoped they would stick by each other through hell or high water. However, things get really complicated and the story spins into a love square… the worst kind of love square. Fuji and his younger sister Shika’s side plots develop alongside Ann and Daigo’s story. Since Shimane is such a small town, the four of them have grown up as childhood friends. Ann makes the decision to live in Tokyo with her father through her high school years while Daigo enrolls in a local school. Fuji, being the heir to a prestigious family is enrolled in K High. When the four become separated (probably in the worst way possible), Fuji’s feelings for Ann finally come out. Through the story thus far, Ann is, as Daigo pointed out, left herself completely open to Fuji, for fear of pushing him too far as Fuji reminds Ann of her deceased mother. Daigo is probably the most emotionally balanced of all the characters but he is completely unaware of Shika’s feelings for him as she’s always been the baby sister of the group. What’s worse is volume four leaves you completely hanging when Shika ambushes Daigo with a kiss after he and Ann have had something of a fall out.

I think Ann might end up with Fuji. Ann being with Fuji will teach her to be strong for her loved ones, rather than constantly depending on some like Daigo. Ann is pretty deep for a manga character… for a shojo manga character. She undergoes a number of personal struggles and rebuilds a life for herself as she grows up in Shimane which is truly admirable. Ann is a strong character overall, she’s just too nice to everybody and that has consequences when you’re in a relationship with priorities and people. Daigo will be good for Shika because he’s like the steadiest character I’ve come across. With Shika having discovered herself as the illegitimate family of the Tsukishima family, she needs someone like Daigo to lean on and at the same time, Shika has a way of reminding Daigo to take things not as seriously.

Anyway, hope you guys liked this review!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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