Sunday, September 1, 2002  By  Robin     No comments

This is the kind of manga that blows away any stereotypes of childish interactions or frivolous stories. Kazuhiko, an embittered ex-military man turned P.I., is yanked out of retirement to perform an apparently simple task: transport a young lady to where she wants to go. The girl, the enigmatic but vulnerable Sue, though seemingly innocent herself, draws all possible enemies out of the woodwork. Kazuhiko attempts, with the help of his friends, to navigate his way with Sue through a deadly minefield of traps and betrayals. Sue, having lived in total isolation until Kazuhiko arrived, seeps under his skin and begins to uncover his tenderness and broken heart. This tale is like a nocturne of images. The layout of each page is deliberate, spare, and evocative. The fine black and white artwork, so carefully placed, works like music for the eye, forcing the reader to pause and absorb every image. The repetitive, dreamlike dialogue adds to the melancholy force of the story. The dramatic contrast between the quiet moments of synergy and lethal action makes this story so compelling. CLAMP, the pseudonym for a group of female creators, is world-famous for ground-breaking manga. Clover is an example of just how much that reputation is deserved.

Clover Omnibus Edition
ISBN: 9781595821966
Dark Horse 2010 (originally published in 2001 in four volumes by TokyoPop)

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