Jiu Jiu Volume 2

I’ve been meaning to write about the second volume of Jiu Jiu and decided to finally sit down and do a post this week because it is during the Vampire Manga Moveable Feast and there is a new vampire character in this manga! Here’s my review of the first volume. I found the art in the first volume a little bit hard to decode, but for whatever reason I thought the second volume was much clearer. Either I was more used to the drawing style, or the layouts got a bit easier to follow. In any case, I had a much easier time reading this volume. For those people who enjoyed the first volume of the series, the second is much the same as Takamichi and her Jiu Jiu Snow and Night spend a fair amount of time exploring their feelings for each other in between episodes of demon-hunting shenanigans.

Things get shaken up a bit with the sudden arrival of an imperious vampire pig bat, who initially looks like an elementary school student when he switches to humanoid form. Takamachi thinks that it is adorable but Snow and Night are sensibly suspicious of any new addition to the menagerie. Meru has fixated on Takamichi for a ritual involving his first time taking blood from a human. He reveals that he’s actually 17, but can only reach maturity with the addition of blood. The contrast between Meru’s various forms was quite amusing, with the ungainly pig-bat being quite the caricature. Jiu Jiu flashes back and forth from scenes exploring emotional abandonment to more typical shojo manga staples like trips to the beach. Themes of maturity and growing up are explored, as the contrast between Snow and Night’s actual ages and their appearance sometimes gets the quasi-family group into trouble. Meru serves as a contrast to this dynamic since he switches between younger and older forms.

Jiu Jiu is still very episodic in nature. While the two volumes released so far explore the same themes, it doesn’t have the narrative urgency that would come from a more involved storyline. Still, I found myself enjoying Tobina’s unique art style more in the second volume just because it was more comprehensible, and there are elements in Jiu Jiu that are really quite odd, with all the cages and the characters’ tendencies to sleep together like a pile of puppies. I’d likely recommend this series to any fan of supernatural shojo who was looking for something a little offbeat.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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