Title: Ten Yori Mo Hoshi Yori Mo
Author: AKAISHI Michiyo
Flower Comics 1987
I was fortunate enough to pick up some of this series recently at the closing sale of a local manga cafe. As usual, I am unable to resist the temptation of cheap manga, and I seriously pillaged the place 🙂 I have been reading through the series I bought, and this one stood out right away. It is a great supernatural romantic suspense mystery type of series. I feel almost nostalgic, talking about a series by Akaishi Michiyo. One of her other series, Towa Kamo Shirenai was one of the first few manga series I ever talked about on this site when I started it back in 1998. Of course, this series is actually older than that one, so I am sort of working my way backwards here, but this one is just as good. This author is very good at romantic action adventure series with a supernatural twist. This series originally ran for 8 volumes, but has since been republished a couple of times in a collected version of 4 thicker volumes.
Anyway, on with the story! Things start quite mysteriously as our heroine, a school girl named MIZUMORI Mio has a dream of a mysterious stranger. She has never seen him before, but she is running towards him. However, before she can reach him, she is rudely awakened. Doh, probably not a good idea to sleep in class, Mio! Mio is an average girl who lives with her mother and father in an apartment complex. However, with her strange dream come dramatic changes in her life.
Later that evening, she is once again rudely awakened, this time after having fallen asleep while working on her homework. It was the alarm of “fire!” and the smell of smoke that brought her awake this time, and before Mio can do anything, her apartment pretty much explodes, and everything around her is engulfed in flames. Mio is in a panic. Will she die? What about her mom and dad? In her desperation, Mio sees her large fish tank over on a table. She doesn’t even quite realize what she is doing, but after staring in panic at the tank, the water from it begins to rise and pour out of it in a large wave, dousing Mio and the area immediately around her. As a result, Mio manages to survive the fire. Unfortunately, along with a couple of families on another floor, Mio is the only survivor.
Having lost her parents in the horrible accident, Mio doesn’t know what to do. But just then, another mysterious stranger appears. His name is Tadaomi, and he claims to be Mio’s cousin. Mio has never heard of this handsome cousin, but when he offers to have Mio come live with him and his family, she accepts, not really having much of a choice. Tadaomi is about Mio’s age, but he seems very mature and cool. His house that Mio will be living in, is huge and old fashioned, but it is also showing some wear and tear. This side of the family had obviously seen better days. Mio is grateful to Tadaomi for taking her in.
But Mio’s adventures are only just beginning. Just as she begins to get adjusted to her new circumstances, living with Tadaomi and going to a new school, she is suddenly kidnapped by some mysterious thugs! Mio valiantly tries to escape, and ends up on the roof of a large building. Just when she thinks all may be lost, and her panic starts to cause the water tower above her to groan and shake in an alarming way, Mio is saved! Help comes from the most unexpected place — up above! It is a man on a hang glider! He is circling the roof, looking at Mio with concern. He tells her to trust him and jump to him, he will help her. Mio resists, but she really has no where else to go, so she takes a leap of faith — right into the stranger’s arms!
Talk about coincidence! Who is this strange handsome man who saved her? Apparently he has a dangerous habit of hang gliding around city skyscrapers (something the people he was with disapprove of). He kindly takes Mio home, but he is very mysterious, not giving her his name. Mio is thankful to him, and can’t stop thinking about him. Ah, but she is going to see him again sooner than she thinks, and in a form she could never have expected! At school the next day, Mio spots her mysterious rescuer. At least, the person looks just like him. But … it’s a girl! The beautiful and elegant NARUMIYA Rei is a student at Mio’s school, and she looks exactly like the guy on the hang glider! Rei claims no knowledge of Mio, and says she has no siblings. But Mio is not quite convinced. This has to be the person who saved her! What is she hiding?!
This is just the beginning of the adventures of Mio as she finds herself surrounded by all kinds of danger and mystery. Something supernatural is going on — why did she survive that fire? Did she really somehow control the water in that fish tank? Mio feels a strange connection to water…. Who is the handsome guy who saved her, is it really a girl, this Rei? Or is What is Tadaomi’s role in all this? He seems to be genuinely concerned for Mio’s well-being, but there is something a little off about him, too. Who were the thugs who tried to kidnap her?
I am really enjoying this series so far. The pacing is fast, and there are a lot of twists and turns. Can I say the word “mysterious” enough times here? There is a hint of what will most likely be a great romance later on, and the supernatural elements are slowly introduced. Nothing is as it seems for poor Mio. I look forward to reading more of this series in the future!