Other creators involved in the making of this manga include: Translating by Adrienne Beck and Lettering by Lys Blakeslee
Content/Trigger Warnings: Death/loss of a loved one, grief, talk of mass murder/democide, talk of abandonment, impalement
“We lose our voices. We lose our bodies. We lose our duty. Then…when all we once had is gone…our existence ends.”
🌻 The Inside – Where all the humans, like you and me, ruled by the King and the Church, patrolled by armed forces
🌻 The Outside – Where the Cursed Ones exist, abandoned villages, also where Teacher and Shiva exist
🌻 Humans/Mortals – Like you and me, live on the Inside
🌻 Cursed Ones – Beast like creatures, plagued with The Curse, feared by mortals, roam the Outside
🌻 The God of Light – Creator of happiness and peace
🌻 The God of Darkness – Trickster, plays pranks on the God of Light, steals away happiness, cause of The Curse
This fairy tale begins like a fog does, shrouded in secrets and mysteries. In a land divided of beasts and mortals, The Inside and The Outside, an unlikely paring between a girl of “light” and a creature of “darkness”, they must rely on each other for solstice and survival. Our tale begins with them and their story…
Volume Five picks up right where Volume Four left us, shocked, horrified, and wondering what the hell had happened. In this volume, things have slowed to a different pace. Instead of the author hitting us with large quantities of shock, we’re sent on an emotional roller coaster. Soon we see Teacher and Shiva’s relationship put to the test. Grief, anger, and mystery devour your mind and soul as you dive deeper into this bewildering world once more!
“I will keep her safe, even if I must sacrifice myself to do so.”
I was completely blown out of the water by this volume! True, past volumes have delivered more action or suspense, but the emotional blows delivered in this volume were fantastic! I don’t know about a lot of readers, but I love when a book can hit me right in my feelings and emotions. When a book can do that, I truly believe it makes that book more memorable and stand out more. One of our main characters, Shiva, has definitely been put through the toughest times ever and even more so with this volume. She has suffered from abandonment, heartache, separation, and all of this has come together to effect her in the most startling way! We never truly know just how aware children are when things seem to be falling a part and to watch the author take that concept to not only write about it, but to show the full length of a child’s understanding was mind shattering. The fact that we also see Teacher devolve to child-like reaction was absolutely priceless! Seeing the roles a little reversed for once was a nice breath of fresh air. From all the emotional aspects to how Shiva was handling everything, I loved every minute and appreciate the author tapping into everything that has built up against Shiva to make her respond the way she has.
I say this every time I review a volume of this series, but I’m going to keep saying it. The artwork is eerily beautiful! The way the artwork is done just makes it stand out more compared to other manga that I’ve read. In all honesty, I find this art style more appealing than some of the other art styles I’ve seen in manga. The artwork just seems to really set the mood for each book. One of those key moments is when the soldier attacks Teacher in the woods. You truly can feel the ominous intentions radiating off the pages during this whole section. Another example is near the end of the book and the way the hope is radiated. The way NAGABE plays with the light and darkness in each panel and it’s such perfection. I also love the way the light and dark are used to emphasize flashbacks, dreams, or important details stated. I can’t get enough of these illustrations!
As the story-line keeps progressing, I love that the author keeps throwing us bread crumbs about Shiva’s past. We learn so much from just a small handful of panels in this volume. And not just Shiva, but we also learn about The Black Children or The Cursed Ones. They’re just bread crumbs, but they’re slowly painting a bigger picture for the reader and it adds to the mystery that already surrounds this manga. Not to mention, the author brought back items of importance. Back in my review for Volume One, I mentioned how the author seemed to be shining a light on the importance of a book or journal Teacher had. Now in this volume, it seems the author is up to the same thing by shining light on a pocket watch. As the reader, you have no idea what the significance is of the watch or why it’s important, but there’s a chance that watch will come into play sometime later on in the story. The need to know is so great that it’s almost crushing!
And let me just take a moment to tell you about the plot of this series! It’s so simple, but brilliantly powerful! This book really dives deep into the relationship between Shiva and Teacher and I’m here for every second of it. I couldn’t help getting so deeply invested in every moment they fought, when they made up, and even with everyone right on their heels. The suspense is so thick, but it’s so sweet! Not only that, up until this point, Teacher has always been doing what he thinks is right for Shiva and not even bothering with how she feels. That is about to change and yet it happens in a very natural way. He’s not giving a child the power to rule the roost. He’s giving her a chance to take that first step to growing up. It doesn’t mean she’s going to loose her innocence all at once. No, it means she can strengthen him too, when all he feels is despair and worry.
“If you think about sad, gloomy stuff too much…then sad gloomy stuff is gonna happen! So you have to smile and laugh and make all that stuff fly away!”
Overall, I love this manga series and I can’t stop talking about it. Each volume keeps getting better and better. I’m ready for the next volume and all the suspense that is bound to be coming along with it. NAGABE has an incredible way of weaving a story that the reader will get hooked on right off the bat and uses light and darkness to keep them captivated. If you haven’t already checked out The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil, A Run then I highly recommend it and I hope you fall in love with this series like I have! ❤️
This book was read during my May 2019 Wrap Up!