Title: Kiichi and the Magic Books Vol 4 & 5
Author: Taka Amano
ISBN: 9781401217587 & 9781401220969
May Contain Spoilers
Wrapping up with two fantastic installments, I am very sad that Kiichi and the Magic Books has come to an end. Looking back over the series, it’s impressive that each volume was better than the one before, and it left off with a satisfying finale. The race to the end was tense and exciting, and I couldn’t stop reading once I picked up the fourth volume, so heed this warning – make sure you have Vol 5 on hand before diving into Vol 4. Trust me on that.
All of the mysteries surrounding the onis and the trees are explained, and best of all, it all makes sense in the context of the story. The major characters are also given back stories to help flesh out their personalities, and in doing so, each became more dear to me. Especially Mototaro, now that I understand the reason for his gruff demeanor. His power caused him to commit a horrible mistake, something so awful that it’s haunted him ever since. When he puts things back into books, bits of the real world get sucked in with them, and there’s nothing he can do to prevent that. The proud boasting of a child becomes a lifelong nightmare, one that he never wants to repeat. By keeping to himself, by being unapproachable, he thinks that he is reducing the chances of hurting anyone else. All he’s really doing is hurting himself, and preventing himself from moving forward with his life.
Kiichi learns what it means to be an oni, and he, too, is plagued by the burden that’s been thrust upon him. If becoming a tree means saving the world and the people he’s come to care for, can he sacrifice himself to the pit at the depository? I love when a character grows and matures, and Kiichi develops into a caring, loving boy who is willing to give up his life to save another. You can’t help but admire this kid as he bravely faces his fate. It was a pulse pounding chase to the last page, not knowing if Kiichi or his friends would find a way to save him from his destiny.
Like The Recipe for Gertrude, my favorite CMX series, Kiichi didn’t wow me with the first volume. The concept was intriguing, but there was an emotional disconnect from the characters. As the series processed, however, that all changed. Peopled with likeable cast, each of them has a different agenda that often runs counter to everyone else’s. Part of the charm was watching them alter and shift their personal goals after being in contact with Kiichi. Like with me, the boy manages to win over even the most resistant of his companions.
Offering up an enchanting fantasy, Kiichi and the Magic Books is worth checking out, and it’s only five volumes long. That’s not a big investment for this solid reading experience, so take my word on this one and give it a shot.