Manpachi and Momoji the Badger travel to the mountain where Manpachi was born, but Momoji also knowingly takes Manpachi away from Senzou and endangers him. When the two get to the mountain, all the creatures are sleeping and covered in snow. The two are almost immediately attacked by a dormouse in human form, who accused the two of them of disturbing the mountain’s restorative sleep. Before the dormice can fully attack Manpachi and Momoji, the goddess of the mountain reveals herself and explains why she has put everyone in a sleeping state. Manpachi give the goddess a kind of pep talk, and she has restored faith in her abilities. Later, the wolf pack investigates a murder of a cat, and suspects an illegal substance was used to cover rhe murderer’s tracks. They question Momoji and find out a stash of the substance was stolen from him when the wolves first apprehended him.
This volume is slightly confusing as Tagawa lays down the groundwork for several different story threads that don't see resolution quiet yet. However, the payoff is still worth the confusion, as the animals are extremely adorable and there are some hints at a mystery that readers are going to want to solve if they are enjoying Manpachi as much as I am. The magical world on their side of the veil is really complex and there are a lot of deities, which make some sense given how much Japanese folklore is steeped in supernatural beings. This series would benefit from a character chart with their roles and names at the beginning of the story to keep them all straight.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 4-8
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1
Publication Date: August 18th, 2020
ISBN: 9781427864055 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Manga, Folklore, Animals, TokyoPop
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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