Manga Review: Yurara Volume One

Yurara Volume 1 is a manga with the story and art by Chika Shiomi. Viz Media holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States, and it is published by the company’s Shojo Beat imprint. The first volume of this series was published in the United States in 2007. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was adapted by Heidi Vivolol; the translation was done by JN Productions. Yurara is rated “T+” for older teens.

Yurara Volume 1
Written by: Chika Shiomi
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 5, 2007

The main character of this series is Yurara Tsukinowa. She’s a quiet girl who has the ability to see spirits and to sense their emotions. However, she tries to keep this ability hidden, hoping that her peers won’t see her as someone weird or abnormal. However, she meets two boys in her class named Mei Tendo and Yako Hoshino, and they have spiritual powers to ward off vengeful spirits; Mei uses fire, while Yako uses water. Yurara reveals her secret to them, and she also discovers that she has the power to release souls; it appears she has a guardian spirit that takes her over for her to accomplish this, and this guardian spirit is much more violent than Yurara is. By the end of the first volume, both Mei and Yako seem to have developed feelings for Yurara.

Admittedly, there’s really nothing very original about the character designs in this manga series. Of all the characters, though, I would have to say that Mei has the least original design; he basically has the stereotypical “feminine” look that leading males in shojo titles tend to have. I would have to say that the most “original” looking character would be Yurara when her guardian spirit takes her over. However, if you’re willing to overlook the generic designs, there’s a decent story being told in the series.

While there are a number of manga series where the protagonists can see spirits or ghosts, I really liked how this concept was executed in this manga volume. If you have an interest in manga where the protagonist can interact with the supernatural, and you also have an appreciation for the shojo genre, then I would recommend Yurara. If I can ever come across future volumes of this manga series, I wouldn’t hesitate to read them.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of this manga volume through the King County Library System.

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