Please Save My Earth, vol. 1

Alice’s family has just moved to Tokyo, taking Alice away from the countryside she loves. It’s not just that she misses the trees and flowers; Alice has an unusual relationship with nature. Plants respond to her, almost as if she could really talk to them. Stuck in the big city, Alice escapes the trials of dealing with a new school and the obnoxious little boy next door in her dreams about the moon. Each night, she dreams about looking down on the earth from space. Alice thinks she’s the only one until the day she overhears two boys talking behind a tree (amusingly, Alice mistakes them for shonen-ai style lovers until they discover her and clear up the misunderstanding). It turns out that Jinpachi and Issei have dreams like Alice’s, only in their dreams they actually become other people: their dream selves (a man and a woman) are part of a group of five beings who guard earth from space. Alice is fascinated by their stories of love and intrigue among the dream characters, and soon she begins to dream about them too. Meanwhile, Alice is forced to babysit her bratty seven-year-old neighbor Rin. When Alice’s patience with him finally snaps, she accidentally causes Rin to fall from a high balcony. In desperation, Alice calls on the trees below to save him. They do, but when Rin awakes from his coma he’s mysteriously changed.

The first volume of Please Save My Earth introduces a host of characters (from both the dream and waking worlds) and a plot with intriguing, if mind-boggling, complications. I don’t quite know what to make of a story where the villain seems to be a seven-year-old boy (even one with supernatural powers). Some readers may feel they need a scorecard to keep track of all the dream characters, who are embroiled in a tortured love triangle. That said, I look forward to finding out where this story is going. What do the dreams mean? Are there others who share them? And what does Rin have to do with it all? Viz has published the first three volumes as of this review, and if the English versions are like the original Japanese editions the series will be twenty volumes in all. I hope this won’t discourage librarians from trying it out. Please Save My Earth should be appropriate for any teen collection.

Please Save My Earth, vol. 1
ISBN: 1591160596
By Saki Hiwatari
Viz, 2003