by Kouyu Shurei
published by Tokyopop; $9.99 US
I flipped through Alichino Book 3. I can’t say read, because I can’t keep the characters straight and I have no idea what’s going on. It sure is gorgeous to look at, though, with beautifully detailed, gothically inspired pretty people arguing about souls, death, and revenge.
I only picked it up because I thought it completed the series, and then I’d have the whole set. Imagine my surprise to read the short interview with the author at the end, the one that talks about how there’s going to be a concluding fourth book.
It turns out that the Japanese magazine that serialized the story originally stopped publishing in 2001, the same year that this book was published in Japan. However, the author intends to finish the final volume and publish it as a complete book, without serialization. Tokyopop includes a note saying, “As soon as [she] finishes Volume 4, we’ll get busy translating it.”
I guess that’s another thing that American comics and manga have in common … early cancellation of a series out of the mainstream leading to a promised graphic novel that may or may not ever appear.
Kind of a dirty trick of the publisher to offer and ship this book as 3 of 3, though. Perhaps they learned a lesson from INVU; the most recent book of that series shipped as 3 of 4 in August 2003, with no word on when the final volume might be released.