Genre: Fantasy, Manga, Classics, Shoujo
Release Date: April 2012 (expected)
Summary: The sequel to “Magic Knight Rayearth”! Umi, Hikaru, and Fuu have returned to Earth from Cephiro, but all three know they have been forever changed by their adventures there. Haunted by the decisions they made and the unresolved war between Zagato and Emeraude, the Magic Knights journey to Cephiro once more, this time with a sense of duty. But who was it that had the strength of heart to summon them again, if it wasn”t the Princess Emeraude? Is it the person who, as Clef says, could replace her as the Pillar of Cephiro?
☆: 4/5 – another wonderful restoration of a manga classic by Dark Horse!
Review: Since I’m already very familiar with the second series of “Rayearth”, I’m just going to be covering the differences between this rerelease and the original US release from Tokyopop in the 90’s.
To be honest, I never did figure out why CLAMP did another installment of “Rayearth” when the first ending felt so complete. It wasn’t really an “unresolved war”, even though both the anime and manga series said so in the second installment. Perhaps that’s just a difference of opinion, but regardless, this second series of “Rayearth” was produced and I devoured it as a teenager. It’s not my favorite CLAMP work, this second “Rayearth” installment, but it’s still very enjoyable. However, Dark Horse has done yet another fantastic job with another CLAMP series, and I salute them.
Tokyopop also had this title and it was also one of their first translations done after “Sailor Moon” and the first “Rayearth” trilogy, so it’s really nice to see a new translation along with a nice, fresh digital freshening up of the original drawings that make up this story. It’s also wonderful because there’s no “translatese” (awkward English when it’s obvious the editor or the translator couldn’t find an equivalent in English) and it makes the original story so much easier to understand.
Also, it’s a lot cheaper than the original prices – three volumes in one for only $20 USD. When Tokyopop released the original volumes I think they were something like 9.99-11.99 USD each, and the end product was pretty crappy. Even though this second Rayearth installment isn’t one of my favorite CLAMP works, I just remember as a teenager feeling really pissed off after spending my well-earned allowance on what felt like a rush job. At the time, I couldn’t speak Japanese, but asking friends who could speak Japanese and after doing my research online, as well as actually reading the translated text, it just felt all wrong. Dark Horse makes the old new again in all of its glory.
So, even though this isn’t my favorite CLAMP story (though I still adore the first series), I still consider it worth reading, especially if you’re still getting started in the mahou shoujo genre. It’s a classic, and I’m glad that Dark Horse finally gave it the release it so badly deserved for all of these years. “Magic Knight Rayearth: Omnibus II” is out April 11, 2012 in North America from Dark Horse, who has my heart forever. Be sure to check it out then and if you’re able, see if you can find some comparisons between the original Tokyopop translation and this one. I think the difference will startle and amuse you. Either way, it definitely deserves a read.