Wanted

Matsuri Hino, Author, Matsuri Hino, Illustrator
Matsuri Hino, Author, Matsuri Hino, Illustrator . Viz $8.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4215-1934-0
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This single-volume trilogy of connected short stories will be a quick read for shojo fans. Armeria is a girl with a powerful singing voice; while performing for a wealthy family, she falls in love with the handsome Luce, only to see him captured by pirates a short time later. Eight years pass, and she comes across the ship that took her love and manages to sneak aboard disguised as a boy. It's not long before she's outed, though, and soon discovers why Captain Skulls, the handsome pirate with the heart of gold, looks so familiar. To call Skulls's identity a twist or a surprise is being overly kind, but this is a book that is more about emotion and the exploration of longing than about any real plot emphasis. The third chapter, however, does revolve around an interesting story idea, a piece of music that appears to be cursed. Throwaway running commentaries from the author (“I did study the various historical backgrounds, but I've ignored them to make things convenient”) are a bit of a distraction, but romantic-minded readers won't be bothered by them, and instead will enjoy her lush detailed art. (Sept.)

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