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Spirit Circle Vol. 1 Paperback – October 10, 2017
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"...a cast of characters that allows Mizukami to once again couple his own deep understanding of the ambiguities of emotion and desire and loneliness with his totally particular brand of wry humor to tell a story authentic and revealing." --Austin Price, Anime News Network
“Satoshi Mizukami’s Spirit Circle is about destiny and reincarnation. More meaningfully, it’s about forgiveness and compassion―how to heal your blood rift. It’s a series that warns the reader implicitly against binge reading, while also acknowledging that the reader, like the main character, will be way too invested to listen." --Claire Napier, Comics Alliance
About the Author
Satoshi Mizukami is a Japanese artist best known as the creator of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Sengoku Youko, and his critically-acclaimed Spirit Circle. He also provided a one-shot story for the Trigun: Multiple Bullets anthology released by Dark Horse.
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The story is set up so that the protagonist, Fuuta, has to relive past incarnations of himself throughout seven different points in history, uncovering why his eternal rival, Kouko, hates him so much in the process. Immediately, we see one of these pasts lives begin and end in heart-wrenching fashion, and then begin and end another more powerful story by the end of the volume. It's quick and to the point, and satisfying enough for me to hold out until the next volume releases.
While we don't get that much of the present-day characters in this volume, the manga still manages to present Fuuta as a fun and likeable middle school student without any tragic backstories to piggyback on. The tragedy is firmly within the past incarnations, so the light-hearted middle school days give good breathing room before Fuuta prepares for his next incarnation. The manga has a good pace and sense for when to emphasize tragedy or comedy. Some of my favorite moments in the volume are when Fuuta is just goofing off with his friends in school.
If you've already read Spirit Circle, then this is still a great buy. Mizukami's works are full of subtle character and plot detail, so there is always bound to be something new to catch on a reread. "Lucifer" had amazing reread value, and since I've already finished the later volumes of Spirit Circle, I can say that Spirit Circle is the same. Even within the context of just the first volume, there are so many "blink and you miss it" moments of characterization that are nodded back to later in the volume, and these moments make even the most oddball characters feel real. Spirit Circle absolutely benefits from physical format just to be able to flip back to these references whenever you want.
There's only going to be six volumes, and this manga definitely deserves more love!
This is a real gem. A story about how our souls seek each other in different incarnations in the flow of time. A tale that points the possibility that people you know may have been closer in your past lives or may be so in your next ones.
This is the story about two people that are linked to meet again and again in their different lives and the curse they bear by which those lives are destined to suffer because of the other.
From dramatic events to sweet stories, from tragic deaths to simple and peaceful ones at old age