kagami no kuni no harisugawa

Quick plug for Kano Yasuhiro’s new series Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa! I first heard about it on ANN, but I didn’t realize it was going to begin so soon when, lo and behold!, Red Hawk already picked it up and scanlated it! Kano is one of my favorite mangakas, primarily for Mx0, but I also really like Pretty Face, which is published in the US by VIZ Media.

Kano’s work is highlighted mostly by attractive teenage girls and virtuous but rough male leads, and the same is true in Kagami. However, another aspect I’ve really enjoyed in his work is a really simple, clean premise that he takes in very imaginative directions. Pretty Face had an accident victim’s face restored to his crush’s face, who turns out to have a twin. Mx0 had a normal student admitted to a school for magic, who is forced to hide that he can’t use magic. The story is very simple on paper, but the stories that Kano writes both stay true to this original plot point but explore very interesting and creative situations that stretch the plot point as far as it can go.

The title of the new manga, “Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa,” is styled in the same way you translate “Alice in Wonderland” into Japanese, “Fushigi no Kuni no Alice,” and is also very close to the translation of “Through the Looking Glass,” the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, translated as “Kagami no Kuni no Alice” (source). The simplest translation, therefore, is “Harisugawa in the Land of Mirrors;” literally, it would be “Harisugawa of the Country of Mirrors.”

The premise in chapter 1 is a boy becomes trapped in a magical mirror, and can only see into the outside world through the original mirror, or any other mirror that has been reflected by that mirror. Furthermore, he is told that he will never be able to leave the mirror if any more than 1 person knows about his predicament. As luck would have it, he originally became stuck in the mirror because he was saving the life of his crush, so she becomes his sole confidante. There is a pretty clever twist at the end that, again, continues Kano’s trend of “simple plot with severe potential,” which makes me very excited to follow this series. Hopefully it doesn’t get canceled like Mx0 did! And, while we’re talking about it, VIZ needs to license Mx0 in the US so I can buy it!!!

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