Line (ADV)

    (ADV Manga, 2006)
™ and © ADV Manga

Chiko is a pretty, popular, and financially well-off high school student. Bando is her bookworm classmate, who is, perhaps, a little standoffish. The two are thrown together, when Chiko finds a cell phone. The mysterious voice on the other end directs Chiko to troubled teens on the verge of suicide. With Bando in tow, Chiko must run all over the city, trying to reach people she has never met, before the clock runs out.

The pace is frenetic; brief respites are interrupted by phone calls warning of the next teen to save. The mood swings, as Chiko may save one life but fail to save the next. We feel her exasperation, as she questions why she should bother at all, even as she knows she must. Our lungs burst vicariously, as Chiko and Bando run all over town.

What’s really nice is that the volume is “Done in One,” when so many manga series stretch out over four, 17, 35 volumes. We like our ongoing sagas, too, but it’s nice to read a complete story with closure.

–Jack Abramowitz

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