RE: Play Volume 3

3.0 out of 5 stars Out with a whimper

After a promising beginning and a slightly disappointing middle, more than three years after the first volume’s release in 2006 Chirsty Lijewski’s American manga “RE: Play” finally comes to a close.

Three volumes in three years is a pretty poor showing, especially when you consider how much of volumes two and three are given over to fan art submissions from Lijewski’s Deviant Art page. She doesn’t seem to care much about the series, and when the artist doesn’t care it’s a fair bet readers won’t care very much either.

This final volume brings a close to the storylines, packing up everything in as short a timespan as possible. Izsak’s secret origin is revealed. Rail gets really angry, then calms down. Cree proves just how much Izsak means to her and finds out that those feelings are returned. Char…well, Char doesn’t really get much closure. I guess you can’t fit everyone’s stories into three volumes.

As with the second volume, about a third of “RE: Play volume 3” is given over to two side-stories, character profiles and fan art. Niji and Laurent’s backstory is told, as is the moment when Charlie became “Char,” and just who she did it for. I am not really happy with the “bonus features” taking up so much space. I appreciate that Lijewski can from a fan-background herself and wants to share the wealth by giving people a chance to have their art published in a professional format, but that isn’t what I buy comics for.

Everything about “RE: Play” is just…lackluster. In the author’s note, it was revealed that Tokyo Pop commissioned Lijewski (One of the runner-ups for their “Rising Stars of Manga” contest) to do a shojo manga, even though Lijewski has no interest in shojo and would rather do an action-adventure shonen manga. She took the job anyways and did her best, but the lack of interest shows.

Lijewski’s distinctive art style is still pretty to look at, and every now and then “RE: Play” sparks to life, but the good bits are few and far between.

Oh, and the big surprise? It turns out that Izsak is not a vampire at all, but actually a ….nah, I’m not going to ruin it for you. That was one of the good parts of the comic after all.

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