Sand Chronicles vol. 2 - Hinaki Asihara
Just when Ann has adjusted to life in the countryside--and even has a boyfriend!--her father invites her to move back to Tokyo to live with him. Now she must choose between a father she hardly knows and a young man she is just beginning to know. But she soon discovers they aren't the only ones vying for her affections!(courtesy of Goodreads)
*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.
I'm two volumes into Sand Chronicles, but I already think it's my favorite of all the manga series I've read thus far. Perhaps because it's realistic fiction. It seems reflective of a real teenager's life in Japan.
Everything is going well for Ann. She's adjusted to small town life, loves her boyfriend Daigo and her friends Fuji and Shika. Just when everything is perfect, Ann's father shows up to throw a wrench in things. He explains why he disappeared without a word years ago and does actually have a good reason. He asks Ann to come to Tokyo to live with him and go to high school. She agrees.
Ann is horribly lonely without Daigo. But she lucks out. Fuji also moves to Tokyo to attend a fancy prep school. And Ann's friends from elementary school are now at her high school. There is much to miss about Shimane but much to love in Tokyo.
Fear not, Daigo still appears in this volume. I love the moments between him and Ann. They are sweet and innocent together. Very much the feeling of first love. It's not an otherworldly, all consuming love. It feels real.
Fuji plays a larger role in this volume than in the first on. We get a few details on his life, which isn't as idyllic as it seems. And he's part of a huge surprise at the end of the volume.
On another bright note, I finally figured out how to tell apart Daigo and Fuji. Daigo's hair is drawn messy and light. Fuji's hair is straight and dark.