Kimi ni Shika Kikoenai Calling You, “I Can’t Hear Anyone but You: Calling You” ( CALLING YOU) • Otsuichi (story), Setsuri Tsuzuki (art) • Tokyopop (2007) • Kadokawa Shoten (Asuka, 2003) • 1 volume • Shôjo, Drama • 13+
Manga adaptation of the novel by Otsuichi. In the title story, a pair of high schoolers so lonely that they don’t even have cell phones strike up a psychic friendship through the imaginary phones inside their minds. Also included is the short story “Kizu/Kids,” in which a boy discovers that his friend has the power to heal other people. (MS)
• You Higuri • Go! Comi (2005–ongoing) • Akita Shoten (Princess Gold, 2000–ongoing) • 10+ volumes (ongoing) • Shôjo, Historical, Occult, Drama • 16+ (mild language, violence, seual situations)
Full of poison, treachery and plotting, this historical drama is based on the life of master schemer Cesare Borgia, with supernatural elements added. Born in Rome in A.D. 1475, the illegitimate son of a high-ranking priest, Cesare begins life as a sensitive bishônen who loves his stepmother and his stepsister, Lucrezia Borgia. But our antihero is haunted by dark spirits (literally), and after a series of tragedies he succumbs to evil, undergoing an abrupt personality change and using the “power of the beast” in his quest to rule Italy and then the world (“I will be my own god!”). The papal power struggles and corrupt nobility of Renaissance Italy provide a solid young-adult novel plot. On the other hand, despite attractive main characters and authentic-looking historical trappings, Higuri’s art lacks depth and the action is often unclear. In other words, the story is slightly beyond the artist’s abilities but still engrossing. In Japan, the series went on hiatus in 2005 so Higuri could work on other projects, although she has said she plans to return to it.