Jiu Jiu Volume 3 by Touya Tobina
Sean wrote in the latest Bookshelf Briefs column that Jiu Jiu is a title that he feels he should be liking more than he is, and that’s exactly how I was feeling after putting down the third volume. Jiu Jiu has many elements in place that I look for in a manga. Tobina’s art style is quirky and detailed, and I generally like supernatural/fantasy shoujo titles. The third volume features some more background information about the Hunter clans that Takamichi is ultimately going to be in charge of, along with the sudden appearance of her ex-fiance, and plenty of emotionally anguished violence.
The central refrain of Jiu Jiu that gets repeated again and again is “We’ll always be together,” as with each volume Takamichi and her familiars Snow and Night reaffirm their commitment to the odd little family unit that they’ve built for themselves. Unfortunately for me, there isn’t enough story to hang on to for me to really be all that engaged in what happens to the characters. Takamichi and her Jiu Jiu’s fight against change and growing older is not engaging me as much as other manga. I’m much more interested to find out in Demon Love Spell Volume 2, and that’s after reading only one volume. If three volumes of Jiu Jiu aren’t making me feel interested in what’s coming up next, I’m not sure if the next one will make me more invested in the story. This is a bit of a shame, because with a slightly more engaging plot or more nuanced characters I think I would enjoy this title much more. The art and hints of a darker sensibility at work do make Jiu Jiu stand out from other shojo titles, but I’m not sure if that’s enough for me.
Review copy provided by the publisher.