Call the Name of the Night Vol. 1 TP
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: March 21, 2023
Price: $12.99
Creator: Tama Mitsuboshi
Format: 194 pgs., B&W, 5" x 7.5", Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-9753-5200-4
Age Rating: Teen
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

This is a very dreamlike story, one that should appeal to readers from early teens on up who want a light fantasy with a strange but interesting world. In this first volume, there are only three human characters with "speaking" roles, and a very strange backstory that slowly unfolds.  The reader quickly realizes that the central character has an unusual relationship with day and night, but there is more to it than that.  Mira lives and works with a "master" who seems to be a doctor of sorts, and who is trying to cure a very strange affliction that she has, one which summons darkness to surround her.  Rei, the doctor, is trying to find a way to save her from the extreme effects of it, which could harm Mira and those around her.  Another doctor sees her as more of a guinea pig for experimentation.  There are two non-human characters who resemble nothing more than sentient potatoes made out of darkness.

The story's dreamlike nature is enhanced by odd digressions, like one in which Mira and Rei make jam out of fallen stars.  You're only supposed to use the ones that don't include the lost souls of people, which is an odd digression even from the digression, but this story helps set up the world of the story.

The artwork is very good for the genre, and readers of light fantasy manga will find it to be enjoyable.  The only real weakness to the story is that this first volume is almost a teaser, and readers will want to read the second volume at once.  Readers who want gritty stories or realistic ones may not enjoy it as much, as it is much more like Alice in Wonderland than like Game of Thrones, but the setup in this story does have its "dark" side to it, if Mira's condition goes to its possible extremes.

--Nick Smith

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