Monday 22 October 2012

Book Review- Birthday

Title: Birthday
 Author:  Meimu, based on the Ring series by Koji Suzuki, and Hiroshi Takahashi
Series:  N/A
Published:  3 November 2004
Length: 160 pages
Source: Library
Other info: Based on the Ring series, one of which is reviewed here.
Summary : Based on a series of novels by Suzuki Koji, The Ringbecame a media franchise in Japan with its fascinatingly creepy, yet scientific and otherworldly subject matter. Not to mention its very scary "monster," the spirit of a girl whose body was dropped in a well many years past. As you'll find reading through Dark Horse's series of Ring manga, this story is rich with an undergrowth of science and hatred, of strong will behind the murderous ghost of Sadako.
"Birthday," the fourth in a series of five Ring manga, is a trilogy of stories, each enriching the main storyline of the Ring series. "The Casket Floating in the Sky" centers on Mai Takano, and how she becomes wrapped deeper into Sadako's grasp. "Lemon Heart" tells of one of Sadako's early loves, and eerily wraps itself back into the plotline of Mai Takano. And finally the "Sadako" story goes into the depths of both Sadako's death and her rebirth. Slowly, the details of how The Ring truly works are trickling out into the daylight.

Review: So...this is a collection of three short manga stories with the intention of furthering the understanding of the world of Ring (review here). The first one, Coffin in the Sky, follows Mei, after unknowingly allowing the next Sadako to take over her body. I never understood this whole concept in Ring, Spiral or Loop, so I didn’t understand it here either. Therefore, in relativity to the novel trilogy, I’m going to ignore it. On its own, it’s a story about a young girl who knows she’s going to die soon, and thinking about it for a long time. it’s done nicely, with a literal coffin coming from the sky.
Next up is Lemon Heart, following Toyama, the boy who Sadako fell in love with.  This story, and Sadako, make a bit more sense to me, because they follow Sadako, her young love, and what made her so upset that when she died she did what she did so she could carry on in the world.
I really liked the first Ring story. So I always find it interesting when you get spin offs. Yay for extended universes! This does help you understand the reasoning and motives behind many characters, new and minor and major. This spin off collection of manga is good for building character, and it’s very interesting to anyone who has read or seen the originals.
Plotwise, not that much happened. Actually, it wasn’t really tense or really epic. As standalones, they work quite well. If you didn’t know what happens in Ring, and the mythology, then you might not get some of the things in Birthday, specifically one man’s horror when he sees Sadako naked,
I liked Toyama for some reason. Maybe because we see him most of all in the three of these stories. Or maybe because he treats Sadako so well. You feel so bad for Sadako!

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a good book extending the back stories of the major characters from Ring.

1 comment:

  1. A really intreguing book and an interesting review to match it. Certainly something that i will look out for next time i visit the bookshop, so thank you x


Thanks for taking time to read this!
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Nina xxx

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