“Falling Deep” – Miki Falls (OEL) – 8/10 Pencils

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa

Mangaka: Mark Crilley

Genre: Romance/Adventure/Supernatural/Drama

Review Status: Complete (4 Volumes/4 Volumes)

Licensed: Yes, this manga is licensed by HarperTeen

Art: This really goes for more sketch-like art. It’s very good, but everything is darkened by pencil, often making the art seem dreary, even when it’s supposed to be spring and sunny. A judicious use of white would have been appreciated. However, it still does have good art and design for the characters, even if the backgrounds are often lacking.

Summary: It’s spring –  a time for new beginnings. This is Miki Yoshida’s final year of high school and she’s determined to make this the best year yet. Miki is in control…. until Hiro Sakurai shows up. The tall, handsome new student is hiding something and Miki wants to know what. As she breaks down Hiro’s defenses, she is unnerved by how much she cares about him. Too bad he is the one guy who can’t care for her back. But Miki is falling for Hiro, and nothing’s going to stop her from getting closer to him –  not even his dangerous secret.

Review: It wouldn’t be any sort of understatement to say that I’ve been less than impressed with most OELs. They tend to be rushed, have dumb characters, don’t have great storylines, so I’m usually hesitant to pick them up. This is one that’s making me think that the tide is turning on the quality of these stories, managing to deeply impress me with every page I read. Miki is a very interesting character, a more sensible girl that tries to spice up her school life by getting close to a boy that’s seen as a social outcast. Hiro makes himself that way, treating everyone with disdain, trying to be rid of anyone that tries to approach him. He’s not actively disagreeable – just cold. Very cold. And this attracts Miki, who is determined to bug the heck out of him until he opens up!

She manages it, keeping a close eye on his activities. She manages to peice things together about him, but finding his notebook and his lair in the basement confirm that there’s something odd about him… something supernatural. He’s no ordinary human, that’s for sure! A matchmaker, called a ‘Deliverer’, who’s job it is to preserve love in the world by giving love to blossoming couples and taking it away from relationships that are failing, he knows that there’s no future in a romance between them. It’s been forbidden, and one of his fellow Deliverers makes sure of that. Even through four short volumes, the romance between them feels no less real or unbelievable as any relationship. They hang out togehter, talk about things, have fun trying to create relationsips… which makes it evestating to Miki when she discovers that he can’t save relationships and doesn’t even try. Her own nosing around ends up showing her the backlash of what happens when they try to go about it the wrong way, and it’s all too easy to do that.

It makes her desperate to save her own relationship when they’re found out, going to nigh-upon desperate and nothing less than astounding obstacles to try and make it together. The stakes get raised higher and higher with everything she finds out, from another Deliverer’s own feelings, to her own capacity to feel love, to what the society will do to those who breach their laws. Having everything taken away leaves her a choice- face those who made the Deliverers and make her stance on everything clear, and being offered something that might break her feelings for Hiro… forever. It all seems so corny and melodramatic when I try to explain it, and I think I sound very much like an ad for this series, but I was taken in by what this story was telling. It gave a solid relationships, and really had a smooth way of letting me let go of my doubts about the story.

There were some story elements I feel were underutilized, such as the ‘familiars’ that help Deliverers (especially in the first half of the story), and while I was happy with the ending, it was far, FAR too abrupt and out-of-nowhere. I honestly had no idea it was coming- in the bad way. So with that disconnected and badly-flowing ending, I can’t rate this a 10. But considering how impressive most of this is, it still deserves a high rating.

Overall, some poor art choices and a disconnected ending bring down my score, but really? It’s a great series, and at 4 volumes, I’d pcik it up and give it a shot!

Recommended: 9+. This is a very family-friendly manga. There is a little violence – Miki throws herself out a window (not committing suicide, she’s trying to save herself), and she gets into a physical fight with another girl, which doesn’t have any blows thrown. She does hit a guy over the head with a rock, and he’s knocked unconcious, and she is faced with a situation where she considers having to kill for her love.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Kimi ni Todoke (anime and manga)

Kare Kano (manga)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: