Book review: My Lovely Ghost KANA, Volume 3

My Lovely Ghost KANA, Volume 3.My Lovely Ghost KANA, Volume 3 by Yutaka Tanaka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This review is brief, as there’s not really all that much I can add to my previous two reviews of this manga. This, the third volume, brings to a close the supernatural romance’s run, and leaves us with little more knowledge than when we began.

The problem with My Lovely Ghost KANA is that there’s not much of an overarching story. Guy meets ghostgirl, they drink beer and shag, and the background of neither is explained very well. Kana has died in the apartment building, but apart from occasional wall-retreating truculence, we don’t learn much about the hows or whys of her terminal moments. Likewise Daikichi – we’re left in the dark about his life, mostly, other than occasional moments of revelation about his job, usually through conversations with the manager of the supermarket. They’re both ciphers.

But really, that’s OK, because this isn’t a narrative comic. It’s observational. It’s a look at a relationship, about the fights and friendships which fuel them. Sex and physicality is covered in a way that isn’t too graphic – though you always know exactly what’s going on – but only as an aspect of the relationship, not for the shagging itself. The stories of the life of these two, together, are normal, because aside from the ghostly nature of one of the pair, it’s a normal relationship.

The fact that a supernatural romance has conveyed such a feeling of normalcy is a pretty good achievement. No, it’s not the most brilliant manga ever written – but it’s diverting and enjoyable, and while there’s no definitive end to the tale, I appreciated the focus on other characters – flatmates and store employees – here. I probably wouldn’t read it again, but I don’t begrudge this duo my time.

Read it online and decide for yourself.

My Goodreads profile is here.

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