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Sequence #01 Manga Review

4 min read
One really does want more.

Creative Staff:
Writer/Artist: Ryo Saenagi
Translated by: Monica Seya
Adapted by: Marc Goldsmith

What They Say:
As a school punishment, Kanata has to ring a bell in a deserted church. But when the floor collapses, he falls into a room where he discovers a coffin–from which a vampire rises, killing Kanata. But Kanata’s soul is saved, and he and the vampire soon realize that they are bound to each other through a magic spell!

The Review:
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
On a dare, Kanata enters the dilapidated church with friend Kotona and rings that bell. The vibration causes the floor to go out from under him and he finds himself in room with a very large box in the shape of a cross. Curiosity gets the better of him and he opens the box to find a young vampire who looks to be sleeping. At that instant, the young vampire jumps up and rips Kanata’s heart from his chest.

Kanata wakes up and decides that this has all been a dream until he sees the young vampire on the street. The vampire, Kamyu Titi, is just as surprised to see Kanata, because he should be dead. Titi determines that Kanata is alive because of the sequence spell activated by the cross (now much smaller and in Kanata’s possession), which allows two beings to share the same heart and soul. This also means that Titi and Kanata share fortunes and destinies – if one dies, so does the other.

Titi, who insists that he is not a vampire, was raised on an island and imprisoned in the cross-shaped casket by the priest who raised him. Titi’s killing of Kanata was an impulse action based on Kanata’s superficial resemblance to the priest who raised him, and on whom Titi wants revenge for his betrayal.

Because of the sequence spell, Titi and Kanata are bound to watch each other’s backs. And Titi only gets involved in things because his life is at stake. One of the first acts of this grudging duo is to save Kotona from a “walk” (demon) called Dark Shadow, who consumes females to feed its inner darkness. It is out of this incident that the main comedic theme arises – Titi’s gender. The Dark Shadow finds Titi pretty, but can’t tell if Titi is a boy or a girl. And Titi doesn’t know himself. For Titi, girls have wide eyes, boys have narrow eyes. (Kanata makes life easy for himself and thinks of Titi as a boy.)

The Dark Shadow incident is observed by Kanata’s sempai, Arashi and Ohji. Arashi, whose hobby is the study and practice of the occult, provides the means for Titi and Kanata to get the information on where and how to get to Titi’s protected island to pursue, So-un, the priest who imprisoned him. Omnipervert Ohji exists to pursue Titi, whatever gender Titi is.

The book ends with Titi and Kanata leaving for Titi’s island. It ends. There is no more.

In Summary:
Sequence is a fun work. I enjoyed reading it in Hana to Yume, and I enjoyed reading Tokyopop’s English version. But there is no more. I have very mixed feelings about releasing Sequence. I enjoyed it. Saenagi fans enjoyed it. But I think others would have been very annoyed. It’s not clear that this is an unfinished series. There is little indication in the book that there is no more, although one might have got a hint from the “thank you” from the mangaka after the last chapter or the fact that there was no volume number.

This is why I have assigned two grades for content: an A- for the story as it is (and could have been), and a C- for the fact that the series is unfinished. The series ran from 14 to 16 chapters in Hana to Yume and then was gone. The first six chapters were published in book form in Japan and that is what comprises this volume. The additional chapters had been available in the Hana to Yume bi-weekly publication only, never compiled in book form, although some Saenagi fans have been attempting to make the HtY chapters available.

Recommendations come with qualifications. If you are a fan of Ryo Saenagi’s work, I can recommend this only if you’re not concerned about completion. Certainly, the comedy scenes can stand on their own. The mangaka has a lot of fun playing up the mystery of Titi’s gender and takes every opportunity to lead and mislead. The school chapters, the last two of the book, are hilarious.

But if you are looking for a full story, Sequence will be disappointing and frustrating, because it does have its charm. One really does want more.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Release Date: February 26th, 2006
MSRP: $9.99

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