I picked up Kieli because I tend to try any manga series where the plot involves ghosts. The story is originally based on some light novels (Yen Press is releasing the light novels as well). At some point I’d like to try out the light novels, at least 4 light novels have been released so far. For me, any light novel that any distributor bothers to translate into English (ex: 12 Kingdoms, Kino no Tabi, Spice and Wolf etc…) deserve my attention. It’s less common for light novels to make their way over here so the contents of the series should be something worthwhile. But onto the Kieli manga!
Kieli is more sensitive to paranormal activity than most, as a result she can see ghosts. She’s currently without any family and going to a girls’ religious school where she has no live friends. One day she comes across a man that she mistakenly thinks is dead. This man is named Harvey and is one of the last existing “Undying” Soldiers from the war. Once the war was over the church began a hunt for the undying. Harvey can also see ghosts, and because of this similarity Kieli feels she has found someone she can relate to. Kieli decides to follow Harvey on his journey on her school vacation…
Kieli has an interesting premise, I like the veiled history of the war building up to where the story actually begins. Rather than focus on the vicious war from 80 years ago, the series instead decides to focus on what life is like for the next generation afterward. The only problem is I’ve already seen a similar premise before, this setup was entertaining for me in Pumpkin Scissors too (which is a series I still miss). I found myself frequently thinking of Pumpkin Scissors when I was reading these two volumes. If I’m making comparisonsto other manga series as I’m reading a story, then I’m not enjoying the series all that much. I’m the type of reader that feels submerged in my fictional surroundings and loses track of reality when I like a series a lot.
It’s nice to have a manga series that can give a reader a well contained story that only needs a few volumes to experience. It’s also always refreshing to see series where the two characters acknowledge their attraction to one another fairly quickly despite their differences. To be honest the end result was that I didn’t love or hate it, it’s a small series that casually had my attention while I was reading it. But now it’s on my shelf, and it’s unlikely I’ll think about it much again. Even though Kieli the manga wasn’t a home run for me I’m still very curious about the light novels. After all I can’t imagine that only two volumes of manga could appropriately represent a 4 volume light novel series. Plus in general it’s rare that I like manga that isn’t the original source material of the plot, I can’t think of a single manga series based on light novels that I’ve liked a lot.