Rayearth is one of those interesting series broken up into parts. While this is volume four if this series, it's labeled as "Part Two: Book One." In the 25th Anniversary Edition, Part Two is in a different boxed set than Part One.
Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are still reeling from their major battle that closed out Part One. The three try to adjust back to normal life, but the weight of what happened in Cefiro weighs heavy on them. The three meet up in Tokyo Tower again to try to come to terms with what has happened when suddenly, they are transported again! This time, the world they enter is in shambles. The ocean is gone, the sky is black, and the only thing they can see is a castle standing tall above a jagged, rocky island. The three are taken to the castle, where they reunite with what’s left of the old cast, and they are told what grim fate has befallen Cefiro. They also discover that there are several invading forces from other worlds desperately clawing at Cefiro’s borders, all vying for the chance to install themselves as a new ruler. Our Magic Knights pick up the mantle once again in defense of this once-beautiful world.
This new story arc begins with a sense of dread and immediacy that only built over time in Part One. The grizzly ending of Part One has completely colored this story arc, so don’t go into this volume thinking the ladies will be questing and leveling up in their signature happy-go-lucky way. There are many new characters to get used to, and plenty of them seem ill-intended, so it can be difficult to decide which is the big baddy.
This is a beautiful series, not overly long at 6 volumes total, but it can be difficult to find outside of this 25th Anniversary collector's edition (which is pretty pricy!). Until it gets a reprint in a standard volume, this might be a series that sits on a To-Purchase pile for a while.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Fantasy, Magical Girl, Isekai, Mecha
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