Latest (Re-)Read: Boku wo Tsutsumu Tsuki no Hikari

(Volumes 1-2, 4-9 of the French Release by Tonkam)

Sequel to the modern shoujo classic Please Save My Earth.

The best shoujo, currently being serialized. Period.

I already own the ten currently released volumes in Japanese, but when I just happened to be in Paris a while ago, I could not withstand it and took them home with me. I somehow oversaw about volume 3 through, and vol. 10 was/is not yet out there.

The full japanese title is “Boku wo Tsutsumu Tsuki no Hikari – Boku-tama Jiseidai-hen”, meaning about as much as “The moonlight that surrounds me – PSME Next Generation Chapter”.

It is set 16 years after the happenings on of PSME. Alice an Rin are grown up, married, and have a 7 years old child, Ren. Mikuro grew up likewise and has a daughter, Kachiko. Mokuren and Shion are now “guardian angels” in the atmoshphere and have their regular appearances as well. The rest of the cast gets to be supporting characters, while newer ones are being introduced one after another.
It it not just a sequel to PSME, but als brings in the PSME side story “Vivid Memories II, Things accidentially left behind” (or Jeu de Hazard in French) into the plot. Anybody who’d read that would have thought of having already guessed out about Kachiko’s mother right away (but there was still some surprise waiting over.)

What makes this series so great?
It’s damn cute, hilarious, lovely, touching, dramtic, badass, kind of philosophical, deep, despite being totally suited for all ages, realistic and fantastic both alike, nostalgic, ….

Admittedly it starts off “weak” (weak here is still really good). The first volume’s content is pretty much concepted to be short stories, also drawn over a much longer period of time; until volume four all arcs are told within a chapter, due to being release in a diffrent magazine than now. But then, things just start to roll unstoppable. The story is also rather hard to predict and full of surprises within what seemingly were surprises (Kachiko’s mother *cough*) and the whole storytelling is just great. The drawings are also eyecandy to look at, Ren ist just super-cute, super-hilarious, simple and (sometimes) badass in one character. Oh and Rin. He is hilarious, sober, occasionally cute and then just sparkling with a serious maleficent Aurawhile incorparating quite some of your usual bad-ass-handsome charateristics as well.

Anybody reading this? English scanaltions are being picked up just a very little while ago, hopefully this title won’t stay as obscure as it is right now.


As for the French release:
With this title going to be relesased, the prequel, Please Save My Earth got a new title in newer reprints of Tonkam, being “Reincations” and with the PSME title as a subtitle, while this one is called simply “Réincanations II”, the subtitle “Embraced by the Moonlight”. I frown a little bit about the reincation in this title, because the focus here is not really on reincarnation at all.

Anyway, the very fact, they have not only this title released there anyhow, but are releasing this even so quickly it is pretty close to Japanese volumes already, hows me againt, the French folks over there just have a better taste. PSME had even to struggle for not being dropped in Germany, so there is no hope for further works of Saki Hiwatari and there is no trace of an English release as well. (In fact, the PSME releases seem to be partly out of print as well.) Whereas PSME in France already had at least about 7 reprints in one of their mid-series volumes, I had randomly grabbed and looked into in a second-hand shop.

I had this title on my radar for quite a while already, but really started this series only in december 2009. (There weren’t even even raws let alone scanlations beyond vol. 2 until last year.) Every since it has been one of my favorites. My first four Japanese volumes are also not first prints. My print of vol. 1 from 2008, is even being the 17th print!
Why is/was this title so obscure, I do wonder? It even regularily whows up in the charts upon release of a new volume.

Reading the French version then had me a bit disspapointed through. While the dust jackets are pretty close to the japanese original (and get rid of the Hakusensha standard design), the backcover also takes one of the tiny images from (usually) the backcovers and has them in big. Still, what is with that hideous white barcode-box in the middle of the illustration?!

They got rid of it from 6 onwards. Pretty late, if you ask me, but better than never…

But the main drawback I think are the untranslated sfx and sometimes even side notes. Hiwatari has quite stylish sfx, I can understand, that it would be a pity to lose them, or have removing them destory her graphics, still having really all of them just left as is, seems a bit strange to me. There are some しーん (silence) sfx, for getting no answers, which I would regard as halfway important. Then there are sometimes annotations used, and they are really tiny, sometimes even hard to find. And I have also spotted a few full side-note phrases (which the author uses really often) simply left as is. (But perhaps that was just being overseen? Still seems strange for an official release). Aside that I think the overall translation does not leave much room to complain about. SFX within bubbles are also nicely styled with diffrent fonts for effects and the diffrence of languages depicted in Japanese version with horizontal instead of the usually vertical lines is shown by bubbles with more words per line. Through in the 9th volumes they seemed to have started using another fonts, for the English parts, seemingly a bit arbitrarily.

Paper quality is about the same as the japanese version. Newer volumes have a bit of thinner and whiter paper through.

3 Responses to Latest (Re-)Read: Boku wo Tsutsumu Tsuki no Hikari

  1. Pingback: Latest (Re-)Read: Boku wo Tsutsumu Tsuki no Hikari Volume 10 « tsukiyadori

  2. Beatrice says:

    I still believe PSME is my favorite Manga of all time. And this new version is such a great sequel! I have some volumes in japanese and volume 1 in French. But now that I see how great the new volume covers look in the French version I am seriously considering having them for my collection.
    I love your review of the manga in this post. I’m glad to hear from a fan. I also wonder how come there is not enough fan buzz already. Hopefully now that the english scanlators have picked up maybe we get to hear more of it.
    Thanks for putting the word out there. Cheers,

  3. Luna says:

    Oh yay, a PSME fan~

    PSME was great and is one of the best shoujos I came cross to, but it’s not my favorite Manga of all time, since despite anything its beginning would seem strange to some extend. But PSME II is currently sitting on place 2 already.

    I have sold my French ones already. It really differs that much and I think I will stick to the Japanese ones after all.

    There is not much buzz about Hiwatari in general. At least Germany is not much interested and it appears the english language world is not much either. If I had writte that in French perhaps some would have reacted, but who knows…

    For the longest time there wasn’t even any raw to be found. After they popped up I would have picked it up, if Tsuki Scans had not. But since they did I picked up Kaguya hime instead. PSME II would have been to good a series for my mediocre editing skills anyway.

    Still the whole magazine seems not too much popular. When Kaori Yuki (by far more known outside Japan) hat her series in there, it was nowhere to be found for a long time either.

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