Pavane For A Dead Girl Vol. 1 (Manga)
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: March 2011
Price: $10.99
Creator: Koge-Donbo
Format: 192 pgs.; B&W; Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4278-2552-0
Age Rating: Older Teen/16+
ICv2 Rating: 1 Stars out of 5

In exchange for good looks and amazing musical talent, Takenomaru Sagami agrees to provide the Great Angel with “heart tears” gathered from young women who fall in love with him.  These “Marias” are unaware of his true intentions and his home at a girls’ school puts many of them, such as naïve music lover Nanao Kaga, right where Takenomaru wants them.

Koge-Donbo, creators of Pita-Ten and Kamichama Karin, specialize in cutesy manga art and adorable fantasy storylines, but this time they are in over their heads.  Their story has a dark element to it which jars with their adorable, chibi-like art style and overly sweet dialogue.  It’s impossible to think of Takenomaru as a killer, but at the same time it is impossible to excuse his actions, even once his dramatic past is revealed.  So instead he seems like a whiny jerk, making it hard to understand why any girl would fall for him at all.  Readers who have read the synopsis on the back of the book will likely be confused, since it makes it seem as if Nanao is the main character and she is actually only in the first chapter.  On top of that, the babyish dialogue makes the story seem like it should be for simplistic children rather than teenagers.  Buy this one only if your library has an abundance of Koge-Donbo fans.

--Snow Wildsmith: Writer and former teen librarian and ALA/YALSA committee member.