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With Easter festivities kept to a minimum this year, the hubby and I decided to just stay home and chill. What does this mean? More time for manga! With temps in the 20's, who wants to go outside? I think even the Easter Bunny sat out this year. With a dusting of wretched snow covering my now frozen spring flowers, I decided to give Millennium Snow #1 a read. Here's a book about a girl that actually likes snow! I guess there's no accounting for taste!

千年の雪 #1 by 葉鳥ビスコ

Millennium Snow #1 by Bisco Hatori

Rated: Teen +

Price: 8.99

Viz - Shoujo - Drama/Romance

Review May Contain Spoilers

Chiyuki Matsuoka was born with a severely weakened heart. Doctors didn't give her more than a couple years of survival. Defying the odds, she lived to watch the seasons change 17 times. Now, though, confined to the hospital as her condition worsens, she despairs at seeing the next snowfall. That's when she meets Toya, a blood-hating vampire who refuses to form a traditional partnership with a human. Destined to live a thousand years in bitter solitude unless he shares his blood with a human, he might just be the cure Chiyuki's been praying for.

Despite a predictable plot, Millennium Snow was a solid read. The characters didn't have much depth, but they were likeable enough as they maneuvered across the pages. Chiyuki, realizing that her illness is rapidly getting worse, begins to resign herself to her inevitable death. That's when, on the night of a full moon, she sees a boy jump from the roof of the hospital. Rushing outside to rescue him, she's taken aback by his rudeness. She soon learns that he's a vampire, he hates humans because they're weak, and he refuses to drink blood. As a result, he's rather weak himself, and being anemic, he often suffers from fainting spells. This was a great touch, and the only thing that really spoiled Toya's character was his tough guy exterior. He tries to distance himself from Chiyuki by treating her harshly, but his churlish behavior grew old quickly.

Toya's familiar, a talking bat named Yamimaru, is a food delivery service with wings. Forced to constantly bring his master food when his energy is sapped, he berates him for not finding a partner yet. By finding someone who will share their blood with him, he, in return, will bestow a long life on them. When Chiyuki hears this, she desperately asks Toya to drink her blood. She'll do anything to see another snow fall. Toya cruelly rejects her. His violent revulsion for drinking blood and getting close to humans is really just a safety net for him; since vampires have longer lives than humans, he doesn't want to get close to someone and watch them die. Instead, he has chosen a life of miserable solitude.

In spite of himself, Toya ends up drinking Chiyuki's blood as she lies dying in the hospital. Suddenly cured of her lifelong affliction, she is able to attend school again, which allows the introduction of new characters. To give Toya some competition, especially since he claims he's not interested in Chiyuki to begin with, Satsuki is added to make a neat little triangle. Satsuki is always cheerful and flirtatious, and when he asks Chiyuki on a date to a new night club, she learns that he has some deep secrets, too. The highlight of the club is a visual system that magnifies the full moon light. Yup, you guessed it, Satsuki's a werewolf. Chiyuki takes this new revelation about her friend in stride, and doesn't even blink as he develops fangs and really hairy arms.

Satsuki, abandoned by his parents, was raised by a kindly old woman. Mistaking her loving advice to just be normal, he is in denial of his fuzzy transformations. Instantly disliking Toya because he has the audacity to flaunt his abnormalities, the two get off on the wrong foot. As Toya is still feigning indifference to Chiyuki's charms, Satsuki decides that she's the girl for him. Maybe because she didn't freak out when his nails grew three inches and he blasted a crater in the middle of the street during his metamorphosis into a canine? With this new competition for Chiyuki's affections, will Toya become a little more open with his feelings? Since I liked Satsuki more, I hope not. Toya took the dark, brooding hero to the extreme. Why would a cheerful girl like Chiyuki want to spend the rest of her life with a dour guy like Toya?

I like the angular limbs of Bisco Hatori's characters. Everyone is lean and lanky, with very expressive facial features. Eyes narrow in cutting glares, widen with surprise, and become little curves of happiness. It was always easy to understand what emotions the characters were feeling, even when they weren't being honest with themselves about their feelings. The page layouts were attractively arranged with panels of varying shapes and sizes. I enjoyed the art so much that I'll give Ouran Host Club a read, too.

Also included was the short story, A Romance of One Moment. This was about Midori and her best friend, Shiki, who has a boy living in her heart. As Shiki's parents argue through a bitter divorce, neither one seems to want custody of their daughter. Hurt and grief-stricken by their betrayal, Shiki attempts suicide, only to have the boy in her heart take over her body so she can rest. This was a bitter sweet story, as Midori grows to love the boy now living in her best friend's body.

Grade: B-

This review was written by Julie for the MangaCast.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 8th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
I thought the first half of the volume was predictable, but I was hooked by the second part (not the short story). I honestly wasn't expecting that at all.
Also, I can't check because I loaned out my book, but I am pretty sure Toya gives her some of his blood, not the other way around.
Apr. 9th, 2007 12:19 pm (UTC)
I'll have to re-read the hospital scene, because I totally missed that, if that's the case.

I agree that the second part was better than the beginning, but I have a soft spot for werewolves :)
Apr. 9th, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
But this is werewolves and vampires. It's like the child of Fruits Basket and Hellsing.
Apr. 8th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
I've read Ouran Host Club and it's hilarious! And I recently finished reading Millenium Snow. I liked it. I'm waiting for the second volumen. Though, I wasn't that impress with the art, and the story was predictable. I hope she gets more in-depth with the characters.
Apr. 9th, 2007 12:21 pm (UTC)
I have the first volume of Ouran Host Club somewhere, so I have to dig it out and read it. The anime episodes that I watched were very funny.
Apr. 8th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
Millennium Snow is okay, but I thought it was a very typical shoujo manga, nothing particularly interesting. There were some good parts, but overall it's nothing to write home about.

(But then, that's my problem with Bisco. She has good ideas but when it comes to executing them she somehow can't seem to do her ideas justice. IMO Ouran Host Club was the rare case of the anime adaptation pwning the original manga in every possible way.)
Apr. 9th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC)
I feel that way about Arina Tanemura! I love the art and the concepts, but the execution is sort of weak.

I think the Ouran Host Club anime was so funny because the voice actors were so good, and there was so much hyper energy to the show.
Apr. 9th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
Hehe, a friend of mine would kill you for that comment about Tanemura... but I agree with you. :D

Yes, the voice actors in Ouran were simply perfect, to the point that I can't watch Death Note because Miyano Mamoru uses the same voice for Light as he used for Tamaki, and I just can't take the character seriously. ^^;; But aside of the funniness, the anime treats the themes and character development in a much more sophisticated and intelligent way than the manga. (No wonder - every episode was written by Enokido Youji, the "other guy" behind Shoujo kakumei Utena.) I'm reading the manga as the new chapters come out, and while it's nice on its own, the anime is simply much more clever. In my opinion, of course.
Oct. 20th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
sounds interesting
Jul. 24th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
Millennium Snow
I love this series to bits! As good if not better than Fruits basket and the Good Witch of West. I read the first two volumes and now I am waiting for Hatori-sensei to finish with her other series and get back to this one! I can't stand it!!! It's so cruel to start such a great series and just let it sit!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )