Fairy Cube, Vol. 3 – Manga Review

fairycube3

Review by: Kiki Van De Kamp

Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Kaori Yuki
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo Beat Manga)
MSRP: $8.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Now Available

Sometimes all you need is to believe.

Fairy Cube made me believe.

Thanks to the three-volume Shojo Beat Manga, I believe that a good series doesn’t have to be long. In fact, short and sweet works too and Fairy Cube proves that. The first volume of Kaori Yuki’s fantasy/romance manga did a marvelous job of setting up a fantastical story that ends in wonderfully dramatic manner that you couldn’t wait for the next volume. Volume 2 of Fairy Cube pushed the story forward with a plot to regain all that was lost while a much bigger threat conspires to unleash its wrath on the world of the living. You better believe we couldn’t hardly wait for the third volume.

Volume 3 of Fairy Cube – which also happens to be the final volume in the series – quickly picks up after the events of the second volume. To protect Ian, Rin Ishinagi allows herself to be taken by one of Elysium’s top employees named Shira. While in the clutches of the Elysium corporation, Rin meets a little girl that reveals that she’s Ian’s mother. As impossible as that sounds, Rin believes it thanks, in part, to the fact that Ian has opened her eyes to things that normally are considered make-believe. When we next see Rin, however, it is on a big screen as a contestant in an Elysium sponsored beauty pageant.

When Ian sees her on television, he feels that’s something is a bit off about Rin being in a beauty pageant. To him, she’s the last person who would want to stand out like that so Ian decides to go to the event even though it smells like a trap. While Kaito tells him that he will not help him, it’s Ainsel who jumps at the chance to aid Ian once again. During the event, however, Elysium security officers are searching for a boy that fits Ian’s current description. It’s a good thing that just about every fairy is also helping Ian.

Meanwhile, Tokage waits for his chance to find what Shira is hiding. After having followed her, he witnesses Shira receiving power from the true mastermind of the event. Tokage isn’t even fooled by this man’s human form that is that of Shira’s bedridden father. I won’t go into detail of who this man is or what his true identity really is but his plan is to open the Demon Gate that will make the humans of this world suffer for having mistreated fairies and other mythical creatures. After all, humans have burned people at stakes they thought were consorting with the supernatural and then, several years later, see their existence as mere fairy tales.

Oh, but Ian steps up to the plate and he does it because he truly loves Rin. This leads to one of the most exciting and completely surprising final confrontations. A lot is revealed in the final moments, such as the real identity of Tokage and what exactly happened to him. Kaito shows up and in an endearing moment he proves that he does love Ainsel more than she had ever expected. To reveal more would cheat the reader so I’ll just say that the ending was beyond satisfying.

The final chapter is short, however, but Kaori Yuki included a sort of spin-off to Fairy Cube called Psycho Knocker. While Yuki explains that she doesn’t like spin-offs, Psycho Knocker is actually very interesting and, personally, I saw a lot of potential if it ever became a series. Here, Raven and Tokage (called by his real name now), looking for demons that had been released but the Demon Gate when Raven and Kaito had opened it so long ago. Their name for these demons are Psycho Knockers and their mission is to stop them before they kill innocent humans.

This story in particular revolves around a shy high school student named Ashina who is trying to muster up the courage to give the guy she likes a birthday present in hopes that he would reveal that she likes him. Her friend, Eri, shows her a photo booth that supposedly granted anyone a wish if they would guess the name of the spirit within. When mean-spirited Eri takes the birthday present Ashina had hoped to give to the boy she likes and even starts dating him, Ashina turns to the spirit in the photo booth and makes her wish.

Unfortunately, the wishes tend to be granted in the most horrific way possible and the price for the wishes being granted is death. Luckily, Tokage comes to her aid but not before her first wish becomes a terrifying reality. As I said, Psycho Knocker definitely has the potential of being a really great spin-off series seeing as the story is good. It’s also a lot more laid back than Fairy Cube with a few comical moments as well.

Fairy Cube, Volume 3, is an excellent farewell to a brilliant series that was loads of fun to read. The final chapter had it all and the spin-off story was even enjoyable to read. I can say that I will miss Fairy Cube very much but I was completely pleased by its surprising ending. I cannot recommend this series enough and will continue to do so.

 

MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN

STORY: A+
While it feels a bit rushed in places, Fairy Cube’s final chapter is one of this series’ finest moments. Ian risks everything by showing up to the Elysium event knowing full well that it’s a trap. Meanwhile, a shocking surprise about Tokage’s real identity is finally revealed. Oh, and the Psycho Knocker spin-off is actually really good too.

ART: A+
Kaori Yuki’s art just gets better and better and it shows in Fairy Cube’s final volume. Thankfully, she includes more galleries in this volume.

OVERALL: A+
The climax of this story is downright exciting and completely surprising. It’s exactly what we expect from Kaori Yuki and I must say that I will most likely go into Fairy Cube withdrawal very soon seeing how much I enjoyed the story. Plus, the Psycho Knocker story was a nice addition and definitely shows some promise if she ever decided to put out a spin-off to Fairy Cube.

COMPLETE SERIES GRADE: A+
Meant to be a short series from the very start, Fairy Cube as a whole is a compelling fairy tale that is big on all the things you can ask for in a good shojo manga. Aside from the wonderfully intricate characters and solid storytelling, the art is beautiful. Could this story have been longer? Personally, I would have loved that. Still, at three volumes, this story is destined to be a manga classic.

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