While this series continues to focus on Subaru’s caseload, clues are starting to mount pointing to that fact that Seishiro has another more threatening agenda. In this volume, CLAMP hints at the X/1999 future as Subaru gets entangled with a group of teenage girls meddling in dark magic. Each is convinced that they are the powerful chosen ones, “destined to be part of the end of the world” (as the characters, including Subaru and Seishiro, in X/1999 in fact are). These girls, bullied and neglected in their lives, escape using 900 numbers, the equivalent of chat rooms over the phone lines. They are discovered by the fact that they’ve been unleashing spells in calling phone numbers that end in 1999. Subaru is determined to find them and stop them before, due to attempting magic they don’t understand, they unwittingly release demons on themselves- the balance must be maintained, and these amateurs have no idea the payment required for the spells they cast. Seishiro is more inclined to let them reap what they sow, though he’s drawn in when their antics threaten his precious Subaru-his immense power is becoming more and more obvious. The concentration on how dissatisfied teens can get with being normal, and the longing for something to distinguish them, is told with sympathy without lessening the threat of losing perspective. Amusement is provided when Seishiro insists on getting his compatibility with Subaru read–of course, it’s terrible, which puzzles Hokuto and hints at events to come. Story aside, this particular volume also features one of the silliest and bizarre of each volume’s full-color pin-ups-Seishiro sporting giant bunny ears is quite hilarious.

Tokyo Babylon Volume 3
ISBN: 9781591828730
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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