A life was lost a very time ago. As Momo quietly looked from the far distance, a man who used to be a boy, met up with a young girl to the amusement park. The girl was quiet, not speaking a single word as both of them feel the coldness in the air. Surrounding them are beautiful lights that sparkle in the night sky, yet their hearts are as mellow as the peaceful silence within.
Three different stories of death are brought to you and will leave you with a feeling of beauty and uplifting spirits.
For the review on Vol 1, please click here.
This second volume has three different stories. The first story and the fourth story are linked, talking about a teacher, Cheng Kang, who had brought one of his students out to the amusement and reminiscing about his relationship with his past and only girlfriend who died in the hospital. The student’s parents has died in a car accident and is depending on her relatives for support, causing her to be withdrawn and quiet, except with this strange teacher who asked his students to address him by name. These two stories combined to give a beautiful story of how death can be sad, yet bringing a memory of hope.
The second story deals with a boy with magical power, and he showed it accidentally to a girl who then broke her camera as it fell into the pond. It then chronicles their relationship as the girl, seeing the beautiful magical power, forced the good looking sempai (senior) to pay back. The second story is about the fear of a memory and the realization that a miracle can save a life from certain death, if they will believe. The third and last story deals with a family coping with the loss of the mother, with the young daughter still kept in a lie about her mother. It symbolized acknowledgment of death and the bonds of a family.
Why you should continue to read this
1. More heartwarming stories. The teacher story, especially the one that ends, is a very beautiful story that touches me to the core with its heartfelt story telling and the bittersweet ending brings about a tear in my eye by the time I finished it. In a way, it can be a bad point if you are of the sentimental type, because the third story is also pretty touching.
2. A much better character development for the mini stories. Unlike the first episode, the characters are much more realistic and it does make me feel a lot for the teacher after seeing him in different stages of his life, be it when he was young and currently. His mentality is really interesting. I also like the different aspects of the boy with the magical power, which I feel to be quite liberating.
3. Comedy, Cuteness, Common. The girl in the third story is drawn very cutely, and it is definitely a draw for those who wants a a cute character in the mix. The second book is also a bit stronger in terms of comedy. Even though it does not go down slapstick style, it is definitely funny, forming a eclectic mix of comedy, heart warming and dramatic storytelling.
I must say that the second volume carries on the excellent writing that is done in the first volume of Shinigami no Ballad. Shinigami no Ballad can be an acquired taste, since it’s generally stories that are not really related other than themes of death and the onlooker of Momo and Daniel. However, the stories are very touching and it is definitely will leave you with a warm feeling after the whole viewing. I also enjoy the realistic and small event-like things that happened to the main characters within each story, and you feel for them and their plight. Yet, even with the scent of death surrounding them, they continue to live hard and happily.
If only real life can be that simple. A manga that will bring you the sombre and kind message that death is not the end, but the beginning for those who survived.
Chuang Yi Publishing has released this volume in February and is available at your rather friendly comic store.