Manga Review: Yukarism Volume 3
Yukarism Volume 3 focuses on an accomplished 17-year-old writer named Yukari Kobayakawa, whose soul has the ability to travel into the Edo period and inhabit the body of a renowned female courtesan named Yumurasaki. It turns out that two people he meets in current time have some kind of connection with people that Yumurasaki knew in the Edo period, but Yukari hasn’t pieced everything together.
Yukarism Volume 3
Written by: Chika Shiomi
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Volume 3 is chock full of major revelations for the series. It opens with a flashback of Kazuma remembering when his little sister Yu was sold to the pleasure district by their mother. This opening flashback establishes a very important detail that becomes important later on in the volume.
Throughout this volume, we see a good balance between Yukari in present time and when his soul takes over Yumurasaki’s body. This leads to opportunities for revelations to take place in both time periods. In the present time, as Yukari interacts with Mahoro and Katsuhiko, he starts getting more and more clues as to who they both were in their previous life in the Edo period. And when Yukari’s soul goes into the past, he learns more about Kazuma, Shizuka, and even Yumurasaki herself.
But the most important thing to come out of this volume is the fact that the past and the present seem to be starting to overlap in present time. This becomes a major plot point right at the end of the volume and leaves the reader on a cliffhanger.
If I have any complaints about the storytelling in Yukarism Volume 3, it’s how jumpy the it gets when Yukari’s soul goes back in time. While very little time has passed in present day, there are significant gaps of time in between Yukari’s visits to the Edo period. These gaps are commented on by Yukari when his soul goes back. It also feels like the author is starting to rush the overall story and revelations in this volume in order to reach a certain point, almost as if Shiomi may have been told by her editor that there was a chance for Yukarism’s serialization to abruptly come to an end due to lack of popularity. Shiomi spent so much time in the first two volumes establishing the characters and the concept that this sudden speed up in storytelling feels rather abrupt.
When it comes to the art in Volume 3, the scenes that take place in the Edo period continue to stand out because of all the detail Shiomi puts into the drawings. Unfortunately, this makes the scenes that take place in the present time pale in comparison. I can see how Shiomi cuts corners by having very little, if anything, in the background during scenes that take place in the present time. Also, the drawings of the characters in the present tend to have more of a rushed look to them when compared to the characters in the Edo period. As I read Volume 3, it almost felt like I was reading two different manga whenever the story switched time periods due to the drastic changes in art style.
Readers who have been reading the series and enjoy it will appreciate all the revelations that appear in Yukarism Volume 3, even though the story itself feels rushed. The cliffhanger ending should also make fans of the series want to read Volume 4 in order to find out what happens to Yukari and the other characters.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media