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Fairy Cube
Fairy Cube.jpg
Cover of the first Fairy Cube volume as published by Viz Media in North America on May 1, 2008
妖精標本
(Yōsei Hyōhon)
Genre Fantasy, Horror
Manga
Author Kaori Yuki
Publisher Japan Hakusensha
English publisher Canada United States Viz Media
Singapore Chuang Yi
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Hana to Yume
Original run February 19, 20052006
Volumes 3
Anime and Manga Portal

Fairy Cube (妖精標本 Yōsei Hyōhon?) is a fantasy gothic shōjo manga written and illustrated by Kaori Yuki. Appearing as a serial in the Japanese magazine Hana to Yume from 2005 to 2006, the Fairy Cube chapters were collected into three tankōbon volumes by Hakusensha and published from October 2005 to July 2006. Set in modern Japan, the series focuses on Ian Hasumi, who can see fairies, and his childhood friend Rin. After Ian's body is stolen from him, he begins a quest to regain it while stopping the fairies' plan to recapture the earth.

Viz Media licensed Fairy Cube for an English-language release in North America. It previewed the series in its manga anotholgy Shojo Beat and released the series from May 2008 to November 2008. The series received positive reviews. Critics liked the Celtic mythology, quick pacing, and detailed art of the series. Others criticized Yuki's use of mutlple subplots and characters, and inconsistancies in the art.

Contents

Plot

The series focuses on Ian Hasumi, a timid boy with the ability to see fairies and who is stalked by Tokage, a vengeful spirit. Ian was born with wing marks on his back, which his father burns off to prevent him from leaving, something Ian's mother did before the start of the series. Ian later encounters Rin, his abused childhood friend, who he secretly likes.

In the city where he lives, murders known as the "Fairy Murders" occur: the victims have their backs slit open, with blood spurting out in the shape of a fairy's wings. Ian stumbles onto the scene of a Fairy Murder, and seeing a man retrieve a cube from the victim's body, he follows him back to his antique shop. There, the man, Kaito, gives Ian Tokage's fairy cube — the contained spirit of a fairy. Later, Ian's father is manipulated by Tokage into killing Ian; Tokage then possesses Ian's body. As a spirit, Ian goes to Kaito's shop and is sent to the Otherworld with a small but vicious fairy named Ainsel. Upon returning to earth, Ainsel agrees to aid Ian in regaining his body. Kaito gives him a replacement body of a young boy and reappears as his chaperone.

Ian confronts Tokage and learns that he grew up in the Otherworld loved by a fairy. Tokage's village planned to sacrifice him to their sealed god, but he slaughtered them and the god escaped. Ian also discovers that Gotoh company, a multi-millionaire land development company run by a cross-dressing girl named Shira, plans to take over the world for the fairies under the "Elysium Project".

Meanwhile, Gotoh takes Rin hostage and attempts to lure Ian back to them. Under the pretense of a beauty contest, the company plans to harvest the energy of the fairy cubes and bystanders to open a door to the Otherworld. Ian rescues Rin and the sealed god is revealed to be inhabiting the body of Shira's father. Kaito forces Ian and Tokage out of the bodies that they are possessing and reveals that Ainsel is the key to the door; she merges with Ian and Ian's former body accepts Tokage. Ian's mother is revealed to have been held captive by Gotoh and before dying, she reveals that Tokage is Ian's twin brother who died prematurely. Shira cuts the god's lifeline and he kills her in revenge. Kaito and Ainsel die together to close the door while Ian and Rin let the people of earth glimpse the fairies.

Development

Although Kaori Yuki considered having Ian and Rin as the sacrifice to close the demon door, she decided against it, not wanting to "leave a nasty aftertaste".[1] Yuki also wanted to draw the fairies as "one big happy family", but didn't.[1] Because the plot focused on the relationship between Ian and Rin, she was unable to include Ian and Tokage becoming friends in the manga.[1] Yuki later reused Raven, a member of the clan who guards the demon door, and Tokage in the spinoff story "Psycho Knocker", where the two chase down and pacify spirits that have escaped from the demon door.[2]

Release

Written and illustrated by Kaori Yuki, the chapters of Fairy Cube was serialized in Hana to Yume from 2005 to 2006. Hakusensha collected the chapters into three tankōbon volumes. The first was released on October 19, 2005; the last was published on July 19, 2006.[3][4]

Fairy Cube is licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media.[5] Viz included a preview of Fairy Cube in the April 2008 issue of its manga anthology Shojo Beat,[6] and published the series from May 1, 2008 to November 4, 2008.[7][8] The series is also licensed in Singapore by Chuang Yi,[9] in Taiwan by Culturecom Comics,[10] in Germany by Carlsen Comics,[11] in Italy by Panini Comics,[12] and in France by Editions Tonkam.[13]

Volume list

No. Title Japanese release North American release
01 Rebirth October 19, 2005[3]
ISBN 4592183517
May 1, 2008[7]
ISBN 1-4215-1668-3
  • Chapters 1—7
02 Crown of Thorns February 17, 2006[14]
ISBN 4592183525
August 5, 2008[15]
ISBN 1-4215-1669-1
  • Chapters 8—14
03 The Last Wing July 19, 2006[4]
ISBN 4592183533
November 4, 2008[8]
ISBN 1-4215-1670-5

Reception

The last Fairy Cube volume debuted at the 221th spot of the 300 best-selling graphic novels for November 2008 with an estimated 516 copies sold.[16]

Yuki's work in Fairy Cube was noted for the quick pacing,[17][18] the Celtic mythology,[17][18], "exemplary" color schemes,[17] dark and "intricate" artwork,[18][19] "intense and intricate" writing,[20] and not featuring "long, strung out plots" or the "brooding" protagonist typical of her works.[18] Holly Ellingwood of Active Anime stated, "Kaori Yuki has created another Gothic masterpiece of horror, tragedy, heroism and hope" and described the story as "a giant spider web where the reader sees with each chapter the depths and widths to which everything and everyone within the story are interconnected."[21] Reviewers liked the cover of the first volume, with Anime News Network's Casey Brienza commenting that it is "hands down the most beautiful of any yet to be published under Viz Media's Shojo Beat imprint."[17][22] School Library Journal described the storyline as "more accessible than Yuki's previous works, all darker and with more convoluted plotlines [sic]".[19] Conversely, Pop Culture Shock commented that Fairy Cube was as "gloriously overripe as the best volumes of Godchild, but considerably more coherent", observing that the artwork conveyed a "delirious, almost hysterical, quality to it that suits the manga's luridly romantic tone."[23] In a follow-up review, Katherine Dacey commented that "Fairy Cube began promisingly enough" but "started to fly apart at the seams with the introduction of new characters and a new subplot in which fairies plan to take over the world by means of a beauty pageant." She rated the final volume "C+".[24] One reviewer disliked how quickly the story happened, commenting that the protagonists' personalities were not fully explored.[22] Yuki was criticized for using too many subplots and characters, causing the manga to become "somewhat hampered",[25] and the inconsistencies of the artwork within the manga.[17]

References

  1. ^ a b c Yuki, Kaori (4 November 2008). Fairy Cube Volume 3. Viz Media. p. 206. ISBN 1-4215-1670-5. 
  2. ^ Yuki, Kaori (4 November 2008). "Psycho Knocker". Fairy Cube Volume 3. Viz Media. p. 131—199. ISBN 1-4215-1670-5. 
  3. ^ a b "妖精標本(フェアリー キューブ) 1 [Fairy Cube 1]" (in Japanese). Hakusensha. http://www.s-book.net/plsql/slib_detail?isbn=4592183517. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "妖精標本(フェアリー キューブ) 3 [Fairy Cube 3]" (in Japanese). Hakusensha. http://www.s-book.net/plsql/slib_detail?isbn=4592183533. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  5. ^ "Comic-Con International 2007 - Viz Media". Anime News Network. 26 July 2007. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention/2007/comic-con-international/viz-media. Retrieved 29 July 2007. 
  6. ^ Debi Aoki (7 March 2008). "April Shojo Beat Previews Fairy Cube, New Shojo Anime". About.com. http://manga.about.com/b/2008/03/07/april-shojo-beat-previews-fairy-cube-new-shojo-anime.htm. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Fairy Cube volume 1". Viz Media. http://www.viz.com/products/products.php?product_id=6957. Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Fairy Cube volume 3". Viz Media. http://www.viz.com/products/products.php?product_id=6957. Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Fairy Cube". Chuang Yi. http://www.chuangyi.com.sg/new/ecatalogtitle.php?title=Fairy+Cube. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Japanese Comics" (in Chinese). Culturecom Comics. http://comics.culturecom.com.hk/jcomics/Comics/detail.php?pd_id=990. Retrieved 16 October 2009. 
  11. ^ "Fairy Cube" (in German). Carlsen Comics. http://www.carlsen.de/web/manga/serie?id=41162. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  12. ^ "Fairy Cube" (in Italian). Panini Comics. http://www.paninicomics.it/web/guest/search_product?search=fairy+cube. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  13. ^ "Fairy Cube" (in French). Editions Tonkam. http://www.editions-tonkam.com/serie.php?id=88. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "妖精標本(フェアリー キューブ) 2 [Fairy Cube 2]" (in Japanese). Hakusensha. http://www.s-book.net/plsql/slib_detail?isbn=4592183525. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  15. ^ "Fairy Cube volume 2". Viz Media. http://www.viz.com/products/products.php?product_id=6958. Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  16. ^ "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actuals--November 2008". ICv2. 20 December 2008. http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13916.html. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c d e Casey Brienza (17 June 2008). "Fairy Cube GN1-Review-". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/fairy-cube/gn-1. Retrieved 1 September 2008. 
  18. ^ a b c d Lori Henderson. "Fairy Cube Volume 1". Comics Village. http://www.comicsvillage.com/review.aspx?reviewID=237. Retrieved 4 May 2009. 
  19. ^ a b Cara von Wrangel Kinsey (1 July 2008). Yuki, Kaori. Fairy Cube. School Library Journal. 
  20. ^ Holly Ellingwood (5 February 2009). "Fairy Cube Vol. 3". Active Anime. http://www.activeanime.com/html/content/view/4522/57/. Retrieved 26 October 2009. "Kaori Yuki’s writing is always intense and intricate...Expect to be awed, horrified, uplifted, and captivated by the masterful storytelling and amazing art." 
  21. ^ Holly Ellingwood (27 August 2008). "Fairy Cube Vol. 2". Active Anime. http://www.activeanime.com/html/content/view/3782/57/. Retrieved 26 October 2009. "Kaori Yuki has created another Gothic masterpiece of horror, tragedy, heroism and hope...As the story unfolds it is like a giant spider web where the reader sees with each chapter the depths and widths to which everything and everyone within the story are interconnected." 
  22. ^ a b "Fairy Cube" (in French). Manga News. http://www.manga-news.com/index.php/serie/Fairy-Cube. Retrieved 15 September 2009. "A noter par contre les couvertures des tomes 1 et 3, qui sont purement magnifiques...Mais tout est passé trop vite, on a à peine eu le temps d’approfondir la personnalité du héros, alors ne parlons même pas de celle des autres protagonistes. (translation: To note on the other hand, the covers of the 1st and 3rd volumes are magnificant...But all passed too quickly, one scarcely had the time to go further into the personality of the hero, not to speak the same of the other protagonists.)" 
  23. ^ "On the Shojo Beat: Fairy Cube, Haruka, and ION". Pop Culture Shock. 11 May 2008. http://www.popcultureshock.com/on-the-shojo-beat-fairy-cube-haruka-and-ion/43698/. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  24. ^ Katherine Dacey (10 November 2008). "Manga Minis 11/10/08". Popculture Shock. http://www.popcultureshock.com/manga/index.php/reviews/manga-reviews/manga-minis-111008/#fc3. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  25. ^ Larry Douresseax (27 October 2008). "Fairy Cube: Volume 3". Coolstreak Cartoons. http://www.comicbookbin.com/fairycube003.html. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 

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