“Awakening” – Phantom Dream (manga) – 1/10 Streamers

Mangaka: Natsuki Takaya

Genre: Action/Supernatural/Romance/Shoujo

Review Status: Incomplete (1 Volume/5 Volumes)

Licensed: Formerly licensed by Tokoyopop

Art: The art style isn’t much different from Fruits Basket- if you’ve read that, then you have a good feel for what it looks like.

Summary: Tamaki Otoya is the last in a line of ancient summoners tasked to battle evel forces that threaten mankind. burdened by his duty as a summoner, Tamaki has always found stregnthb from his childhood friend Asahi, whith whom he has a deep, emotional bond. So when Asahi’s friend is found out to be possessed by a demon, he awakens- as the one destined to exorcise demons out of tortured human souls. (back cover of 1st volume)

Review: I usually want to review short manga like this in whole, and takes a lot to make me drop it. So what could make me kick this manga to the curb, especially when it’s by the same mangaka as Fruits Basket? Within the first three pages, the main character hits his girlfriend because he’s in a bad mood, she dismisses it because he’s “really sweet nd strong”, and her friends reveal that she’s hit on a regular basis, and proceed to laugh this off. That’s right- abuse is totally normal, and from this manga, supposed to be totally okay in a romantic relationship.

I am all for freedom of the press, but just because you have the right to print whatever you want doesn’t mean it’s a wise idea to do so- and shame on Tokyopop for picking this up!

After those initail pages, it was unbearable hard to keep going through the rest of this, and no matter what happened- even if he didn’t hit her again during the rest of the volume- I don’t dare pick up the rest of it for fear of seeing that scene repeated. And no matter what happened after, it was tinged with the impression those initial pages made on me. It wasn’t helped that apparently, Tamaki has told Asahi repeatedly that she’s useless (revealed via flashbacks) or that he doesn’t regret or feel sorry for behaving as he does towards her. I found this to be absolutely appaling, and am staying far, far away from it the next time at the library.

It’s a real shame, because in her later work of Fruits Basket, abuse and it’s effects were handled quite tastefully.

Overall, this isn’t worth the time or effort to look up or read.

Recommended: Never. Not for anyone. If you must? It’s rated OT, and that’s about where I’d put it. Tamaki and Asahi are stated to be lovers and there’s sexual innuendo, there’s the physical abuse, and there is some blood and injuries that occur.

Other Titles You might Enjoy:

Dawn of the Arcana (manga)

Fruits Basket (manga)

Those Who Have Wings (manga)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Taylor Ramage
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 02:45:38

    Ugh, how disgusting. My roommate used to be in an abusive relationship, so stuff like this is even more infuriating for me now that I know someone important to me has suffered like this.

    I especially don’t get how a woman could write something that seems to condone domestic violence.


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