Ruerune, a high school boy with the ability to sense alien creatures, and Pi, a girl science geek, set up an ”X-file”-ish club to help the inhabitants of an alien world. A wonderful work from Singapore’s acclaimed manga artist FSc!!
By FSc (Foo Swee Chin)
Publisher: Jmanga.com/Ohta Publishing
Age Rating: Teen
I was initially attracted to this title by its unique art style and premise. While I did enjoy the story of two lonely people who find friendship with each other, the volume has some editing problems and some confusing art.
RueRune is a strange boy. He doesn’t interact with this classmates. He often gets up in the middle of class for seemingly no reason, and talking to the air or trees. His odd behavior strikes the curiosity of Turing Min Pi, a geeky girl in his class who believes in UFOs and other strange phenomena. Their friendship starts off rocky at first, but when RueRune shows Pi the creatures that he can see and tries to help, she isn’t spooked or runs away. She offers him the true hand of friendship, which he gladly takes.
I really like the main characters of Clair Voyance. RueRune comes off very odd at first. He wears plants that represent the elements in his hair, a sarong that looks like a bed sheet, and has indigo eyes. He doesn’t care much for people and glimpses of his past make it very clear why feels this way. He feels closer to creatures only he can see, as they have been his only friends so far. He doesn’t know his father, and his mother left him when he was young. He lives above a cafe with the owners, though their relation to him hasn’t been shown yet. He is kind of gloomy except when he’s with his monster friends. Pi, on the other hand is extroverted and friendly with her classmates, and tends to be rather flighty, so everyone thinks her more cute than weird. She lives in the Embassy, where her father is a diplomat and her mother is a physicist (which explains her first name), so essentially she is about as parent-less as RueRune. It was really cute how determined she was to be friends with him, and who she just inserts herself into his life. But it’s the only way to get through to him that people can be his friends too.
RueRune’s monster friends are really cute too. He is always surrounded by then, even if we don’t always see them. His room is filled with them, in every closet, nook and cranny. They help him when he doesn’t wake up on time by helping his dress and help him choose what to where on his first outing with Pi. Thong is one that always seems to be close to him. She has one big eye, long hair that also have eyes, and a bird shaped hat. She likes Pi and is very loyal to RueRune. A monster that we see RueRune help is the Minowski Mountain Tiger, whose Gulmohar tree is uprooted and needs to find a new home. The spirit of Gulmohar tree that he does find for the Minowski Mountain Tiger is grand-fatherly and kind. Not all of the monsters are friendly though. The Hue Rammi/Naripon hate people in general and Pi specifically, and goes after her, even possessing her.
I really did enjoy this series, but it took a couple of reading for me to get it all. The art, as unique and lovely as it is, can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Minowski Mountain Tiger, whose head looks like it’s from a Chinese dragon costume was beautifully drawn, while the Gulmohar tree spirit was as elegant as he was serene. But the scene where the Tiger goes to the tree is confusing as to who is doing what and talking to who. I still don’t get it completely. There are also a lot of grammatical errors in the text. Some are as simple as mistyping, such as a hitting “s” instead of “c”, and some are awkward sentence structure. It was better by the end of the volume, but a second or third look over would have helped.
Clair Voyance has a lot of potential and I am looking forward to the next volume. If you like Natsume Ono’s art, than you will like FSc’s as well. His is a little more exaggerated, but in a good way. The story is a very uplifting one, as Pi and RueRune become friends and won’t be so lonely anymore. It’s really sweet how RueRune worries over what to wear when he is going to see her, and how she cries at just being invited to his home. Look past the editing issues to find some great characters and story.