Once there was a girl and her monster… The Girl from the Other Side Vol 1-4 by Nagabe [Review]

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The synopsis for Volume 1:

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“In a land far away, there were two kingdoms: the Outside, where twisted beasts roamed that could curse with a touch, and the Inside, where humans lived in safety and peace. The girl and the beast should never have met, but when they do, a quiet fairytale begins. 
This is a story of two people–one human, one inhuman–who linger in the hazy twilight that separates night from day.”

This is the first manga series I’ve ever read. I first read Volume 1 last year and I was surprised that I liked it. This manga series is just what the first volume says it is, “a tranquil fairy tale…” This manga series is endearing full of everyday moments and those not so everyday.

other polaroid2The series is full of these wonderfully cozy moments of Shiva and Teacher like tea parties and baking pies. Shiva is a young girl living on the Outside with Teacher, a cursed outsider. Between these moments of daily life, we get glimpses of Teacher’s thoughts as he struggles to protect Shiva from the truth of why she is on the outside. As the series goes on there appears to be more to Shiva than just a girl living on the outside as both monster outsiders and human insiders have an interest in her and the only one standing in the way of them is Teacher.

It’s interesting because we get hints of things here and there like where Shiva comes from or Teachers past and his link to the curse. As of Volume 4 we get some new hints that plants some new questions about where Shiva comes from and no solid information about anything, which gives this series an air of mystery. This series is clearly going to be a slow burn.

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Shiva’s relationship to Teacher is also curious because we don’t really know why this outsider is taking care of this defenseless girl; Teacher gains nothing from taking care of this girl except maybe one thing he no longer has as an outsider: purpose. Their relationship really hits its peak in Volumes 3 and especially 4 as you see how attached they are to one another and this warmed my heart!

I think this series can be read by manga lovers and those just starting to read this medium, like me! If you’re looking for a laid back read with fantastical/fairy tale elements then I recommend reading this series! Volume 5 is out on September 2018.

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My rating for Volumes 1-4 is 4 out of 5.

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