The opening pages of volume 2 reaffirm that CLAMP are masters of dramatic layout, pulling out all of the cinematic stops they can to create drama with just a few lines of dialogue and powerful images. The sequence here follows an examination of both outsiders and dreamers, and focuses on the two Sumeragi twins. Subaru is called home to visit with his grandmother, and their conversations about the Sakurazuka clan and Subaru’s reluctance to admit Seishiro as a friend nicely underscore Subaru’s nagging doubts about his friend. Subaru’s latest case, however, involves a childhood friend who’s been asleep for 4 months with no sign of waking. In exploring this girl’s mind, and assessing his own dreams and memories, Subaru discovers the power of dreams and memories to confuse reality as well as make it clearer. The final story shows Hokuto is not only an infectious personality but also a practiced fighter, a brave defender, and most of all, a good friend to have on your side. There is some mature content addressed in this volume, including rape and prostitution, but these issues are presented both subtly and with grace. As always, everything is implied, not explicit, which may be the best way to explain CLAMP’s overall storytelling style in this
series.

Tokyo Babylon, vol. 2
ISBN: 9781591828723
By CLAMP
Tokyopop, 2004

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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