Foreign Friday: Magic Knight Rayearth

This week’s Foreign Friday title is Magic Knight Rayearth by CLAMP.

9781595825889

The Story

Hikaru, Umi and Fuu are Tokyo schoolgirls with nothing else in common, until one fateful day changes everything: the three are summoned to the magical realm of Cephiro and find that their lives are inexorably intertwined. They have been chosen to become Magic Knights!

The Characters

Hikaru is optimistic, and strong of heart (as should be expected of the main character). Umi is rich and cool. Fuu is soft, and more internal. Basically, they are a classic trio.

magicknightrayearth

What I Thought

Magic Knight Rayearth  is one of CLAMP‘s older series…and a lot can be said for art development and plot flow over the last 20 years. However, despite the fact that the beginning of the series reads like a video game (level up!) it has the signature plot twists and depth that you can count on from CLAMP. The plot has two distinct arcs, and both have their high and low points. The first was more mind twisting by the end, and the second was good if not as CLAMP-ish. All in all, good, but not CLAMP’s best. There are 6 volumes, all in English and available in the U.S.

There are a lot of names, people and creatures from this series that appear in other CLAMP stories, the most notable being the creature Mokona, who stars a role in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle as well as a black counterpart in xxxHolic. Hikaru appears as a doll in Angelic Layer (and is named after her role in Magic Knight) and she is a life-sized automaton in Tsubasa before appearing as a human in the final volume, along with Fuu and Umi; she also has a cameo in Kobato.

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