Foreign Friday: Phantom Dream

This week’s Foreign Friday title is Phantom Dream by Natsuki Takaya.

The Story

Tamaki Otoya is the last in a line of ancient summoners tasked to battle against evil forces that threaten mankind. Burdened by his duty as a summoner, Tamaki has always found strength from his childhood friend Asahi, with whom he has a deep, emotional bond. But one day, Asahi goes missing and reemerges as the descendent of the very group that Tamaki is destined to destroy! Bound by responsibility but torn by love, what will become of this pair of star-crossed lovers?

The Characters

Tamaki is your typical “last in line of ancient xxxs.” He’s poised, mostly stoic, and has the inclination to forge his own path. Asahi is more your modern girlfriend, sporting more life and vivaciousness than her boyfriend, but when it comes to devotion, they’re about equal.

What I Thought

Out of all the titles I’ve read by Natsuki Takaya, Phantom Dream is possibly my least favorite. The plot, while adequate and without any embarrassing glitches, simply lacks the emotional touch I got from Fruits Basket or even Tsubasa: Those with Wings. Of course, the majority of the story is more serious than her later works, so maybe I prefer her comedy. Phantom Dream is, I believe, Takaya’s first series, so I will certainly cut her some slack. If you enjoy demonology and Japanese onmyouji style fantasy, then this will catch your attention. I will warn that there is some adult content alluded to (but never graphically shown). Overall, it was a decent, if not amazing series, complete in 4 volumes.

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