Saturday, August 8, 2020
#IReadsYou Review: THE ALCHEMIST WHO SURVIVED... Volume 2
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
MANGA-KA: Guru Mizoguchi
ORIGINAL STORY: Usata Nonohara
CHARACTER DESIGN: ox
TRANSLATION: Erin Husson
LETTERS: Liz Kolkman
ISBN: 978-1-9753-0853-7; paperback (April 2020); Rated “T” for “Teen”
160pp, B&W, $13.00 U.S., $17.00 CAN
The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life is a fantasy manga written and illustrated by Guru Mizoguchi. It is a manga adaptation of the light novel series of the same title, written by Usata Nonohara with character designs by ox. Yen Press is publishing an English-language edition of the manga.
The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life focuses on a young woman named Mariela. She awakens from a deep sleep that has lasted two hundred years to discover that she is the last alchemist alive in a place called Labyrinth City. She wants to keep the fact that she is an alchemist a secret, but she does make a living brewing and selling potions. With her bodyguard/assistant, Siegmund, at her side, Mariela wants to live the quiet life.
As The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life, Vol. 2 (Chapters 7 to 12) opens, Mariela is making good money selling potions, but she is warned that she must hide the fact that she is an alchemist. She decides that she is going to live undercover as a chemist and seeks a guild license with the hopes of opening her own apothecary. Meanwhile, Siegmund wonders if he is really of any use to Mariela, who once saved him poverty.
[This volume includes bonus manga, “The Humble Alchemist's Everyday Life: The Difference Two Hundred Years.”]
The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life manga is another new title to me. As I gradually delve deeper into Yen Press' catalog, I am finding manga that I like and may want to follow as a series.
The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life Graphic Novel Volume 2 is a quite pleasant read because Mariela is a quite pleasant, if not endearing, character. I am not at all familiar with the light novel series upon which this manga is based, so I don't know its author, Usata Nonohara's intentions for the narrative.
However, this manga adaptation by Guru Mizoguchi presents this fantasy-set narrative as something like a medievalist slice-of-life serial. The readers follows the everyday activities of Mariela, as if this were a domestic comedy-drama. Erin Husson's translation gives the narrative an engaging quality and also hints at some darker moments to come later in the series.
Vol. 2 probably makes as good an introduction as Vol. 1, which I have not read. I would recommend The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life on this volume alone because... well, I intend to read more.
7 out of 10
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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