Manga Review: Millennium Snow Volume One

Millennium Snow Volume 1 is a shojo manga about a young woman who is dying and the two supernatural beings that she meets.

Millennium Snow Volume 1
Written by: Bisco Hatori
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 3, 2007

Volume 1 introduces a 17-year-old girl named Chiyuki (whose name literally means “Millennium Snow”). She was born with heart problems and it appears she may soon be dying. Right at the beginning of the volume, she meets a young man named Toya and learns that he is a vampire. At first, he wants nothing to do with her and refuses to drink her blood and make her his partner for a thousand years. But when Chiyuki is on her deathbed, Toya provides her with some of his blood to keep her alive. This act heals Chiyuki, and she’s able to return to school. She even manages to get Toya to enroll at the school without his knowledge, and this leads to a somewhat comedic scene.

Right from the onset, it becomes evident that there’s going to be some kind of attraction between Chiyuki and Toya. Chiyuki realizes it rather quickly, but Toya keeps trying to deny his feelings to himself. But when Toya uses the trope of being so openly hostile toward Chiyuki at first, it’s obvious that the story will eventually see some kind of romantic tension blossom.

That romantic tension is kicked up a notch with the introduction of Satsuki, a smooth talking guy who is classmates with Chiyuki and Toya. Satsuki appears to be interested in Chiyuki, and it’s revealed that he’s actually a werewolf. So now, not only is Chiyuki part of a typical love triangle in a shojo manga, her two suitors are both supernatural beings. And to make things worse, Toya and Satsuki are natural enemies.

There is one element of Millennium Snow that makes it stand out from other shojo manga, which is Toya’s bat, Yamimaru. He’s there to provide comic relief, especially for scenes where it would be unnatural for the main characters to be humorous. But he also provides exposition about Toya, especially early on when Chiyuki is first getting to know him. Yamimaru also stands out as a character due to his speech patterns.

When it comes to the art, the characters have the designs one would expect from a shojo manga. The main male characters have a bishonen (“beautiful boy”) look to them, and Chiyuki has the long hair and facial features generally associated with the female lead. To be honest, there’s not much to the art to make Millennium Snow stand out from other shojo manga series.

This volume also includes one story that isn’t part of Millennium Snow, which is titled, “A Romance of One Moment.” It’s about a girl named Midori, whose friend Shiki says she has a boy living inside her heart that she can talk to. But Shiki’s having problems at home and tries to commit suicide. When she does, the boy inside of her takes over her body and lets Shiki sleep inside her heart. This version of Shiki becomes friends with Midori, and Midori develops feelings for him even though he’s inside the body of her friend.

This was an interesting short story. It has the romance of shojo, but incorporates a supernatural-type element. I can see why this was included with a volume of Millennium Snow, because they would both appeal to the same demographic. This definitely worked as a short story, because there would have been no way to turn this into a manga series without weakening it.

Even though the art may not make Millennium Snow Volume 1 stand out, the story itself is engaging enough that readers are able to ignore the weaknesses that the art has. This is a series that should appeal to shojo readers that enjoy seeing supernatural elements included as part of the romance.

The reviewer checked out a copy of this item through the King County Library System

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