Saturday, February 24, 2024

Cocoon Entwined vol. 5 review (manga)

A high school girl with long hair flowing after her and a long flowing black uniform
    Honestly, I still barely know what's going on in this series. Cocoon Entwined vol. 5 continues to follow the girls of Hoshimiya Girls' Academy. But thankfully, the back text of the volume helped me confirm what I thought was going on.
     I think the largest part of that is how hard it is for me to understand is identifying which girl is which in each panel. It could be that I genuinely struggle with peoples faces in real life (which I really do), or maybe it's that I've got that horrible white person disease of thinking everyone from any other background looks the same (I really hope I don't), or maybe the art is just that indistinct at times. Thankfully, there are a few characters I can differentiate and some of them are lead characters which helps. 
    It also doesn't help that the volumes are published so far apart in time and I usually only read a bit of the prior one to help get situated. A full read through the entire series from front to back is definitely warranted once it's complete, just to see if it hangs together a bit neater and clearer that way.
    Hoshimiya (same name as the school) has mysteriously disappeared (run away in an earlier volume). The school is left somewhat in a tither over it. Ayane continues to be manipulative. And they are all preparing for a final dance. Hana Saeki continues her half-hearted dalience with Ayane and agrees to go to the dance with her, but in the background Youko hasn't given up on Hoshimiya yet and asks a teacher to get a letter to her. And yet we know it's Saeki and Hoshimiya that are linked, even though they are apart. So why is Saeki dancing with Ayane? What is Youko really hoping to accomplish writing to Hoshimiya?
    It's a tangled web of feelings at Hoshimiya Girls' Academy where they are all bound by some really creepy traditions and maybe something more disturbing. I read it mostly because of Saeki and Youko (whose faces I can almost always tell apart from the others) and to find out more about what created the independent streak in Hoshimiya. I'm also a little bit intrigued by the supernatural element and the art continues to be interesting and unique, even if a bit tough to decipher. I can't say it's a great, or even very good series, but it's different. So I'll be waiting for volume 6

Please legitimately purchase or borrow manga and anime. Never read scanlations or watch fansubs. Those rob the creators of the income they need to survive and reduce the chance of manga and anime being legitimately released in English.

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