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A Reader of Fictions: Past in Present - Feist

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Past in Present - Feist

NG Life

Author: Mizuho Kusanagi
Volumes: 9
Publisher: Tokyopop

Brief Summary:
Keidai Saeki is not your average high schooler. He's attractive, athletic, klutzy and popular. Oh yeah, and he remembers his past life. When he was a gladiator in Pompeii during the period before the explosion of the volcano. He's not the only one from then to be reborn in Japan. His little sister and arch rival are his parents. His best friend, Loleus, is still his best friend, although she's now a girl, Serizawa. He has been looking his whole life for his love, Serena, who he knows must have been reborn here as well. He finally finds her, only to learn that she is now a boy named Yuuma. Will he go gay for his past life love?

NG Life is one of the more original and weird mangas I have read, which is saying something, as anyone who reads manga knows. Certainly, I have read stranger things, but generally only online, the things that would never get published here because they are off the wall batty and creepy. Anywho, I was skeptical and still am about some of the aspects of the past lives thing (particularly that they were all reborn together in Japan), but I do find the idea of past lives fascinating, so I was willing to overlook it.

My favorite thing about this series, the thing that frequently made me chuckle, was the gender-benderness of it. There is a love triangle between Yuuma (who likes Serizawa), Serizawa (who likes Saeki) and Saeki (who likes Yuuma/Serena). No matter which of them Saeki ends up with, he'll be going gay a little bit, which I think is hilarious. Serizawa was a dude with his past self and his love from before is a dude now. I just love that. I also really loved Smyrna/Shinogu, who was totally a lesbian when living back in Pompeii (although that side story at the end of volume 9 was not okay at all...Serena needs to let Smyrna be).

If you read this be prepared for over the top ridiculousness (although that's the case with a lot of manga). Also, be ready for a lot of slapstick humor. The series often made me chuckle, although it did sometimes me make me angry, too. If you're into past lives, gender bending and comedy, this is definitely a series worth checking out.

"Feeling it from dark to bright
When a wrong becomes a right
When a mountain fills with light
It's a volcano, it's a volcano
It's a volcano, it's a volcano

So much present, inside my present
Inside my present
So, so much past

Inside my present, inside my present
Inside my present
So, so much past"

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