Magic Knight Rayearth Vol. 4
Mixx Entertainment (July, 2000)
originally published by Kodansha Ltd. (1994)produced by CLAMP WRITER: Nanase Ohkawa ARTIST: Mokona Apapa ASSISTANT DESIGNER/PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Satsuki Igarashi EDITOR/MINI-CHARACTERS: Mick Nekoi
Hey look, Tokyopop now runs Mixx (this translation appeared in their magazine from issues #3;5-3:10–interesting numbering system) and this book lists the translation team!TRANSLATION: Anita Sengupta RETOUCH ART: Wilbert Lucana GRAPHIC ASSISTANT: Steve Kindernay GRAPHIC DESIGN: Akemi Imafuku ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Jake Forbes EDITOR: Mary Coco
Our first story of the new arc finds the girls back in Tokyo, still shaken up by the events of the first story arc. Their families are worried about them but how do you tell them you went to another world and used giant robots to battle someone you didn’t want to battle? (Again, no spoilers–seasons one and two are up on Hulu, which will have the spoiler for this final arc as well.) Returning to Tokyo Tower and discussing what happened with the only people they can, each other, they all wish they could return to Cephiro, and they soon find themselves in the sky being rescued by the giant flying fish again. I like this part. Hikaru’s brothers are so fun I almost want them to stay in the show. (Shame we don’t get to see Hikari in this segment despite the dog being rather important to Hikaru early on in the Fountain Of Eterna.) Umi’s parents are still in honeymoon mode, but Fuu’s meeting with her sister (at least until Fuu mentions Tokyo Tower, which apparently sells sweets her sister loves) is less comical but in all three the love shines through.
But back to Cephiro, which has really gone downhill. Thunder and lighting replaced the blue skies and the land isn’t as pretty as it once was. While these two parts are actually one part I want to discuss them separately. The first half is the girls meeting their old friends. Presea greets them at a castle the fish brings our heroes to and leads them to Guru Clef and the Prince, who turns out to be Ferrio. I think Ferrio came out better in the anime but there were changes. For example (and this is a big spoiler) Presea dies in the anime so when she shows up in this arc they had to break out some twin sister to pretend to be her for the Knights’ sake. Ferrio actually broke into Emmeraude’s room to steal stuff as he was a thief but the Princess took pity on him and let him go. They became friends later, so I forget how he became the Prince in the show. I’ll have to rewatch season 2 now that I finally can. Later, Ascot and Gardina will show up, and Ascot willed himself taller (because in Cephiro you can do that).
I’m afraid I must spoil one more thing before I move on but the details I’m leaving for you to read the manga or watch the show. There is no longer a Pillar for Cephiro. Our heroes are comforted as best they can by their friends but are interrupted. With the Pillar gone, three neighboring countries–the industrial nightmare Autozam, the Arabian style Chizeta, and the Chinese-ish Fahren–are coming to attack Cephiro, each with their own reasons. Although the place is falling apart without a Pillar a new Pillar can come from any world, not just Cephiro, and Clef assumes that by taking the place of Cephiro’s Pillar they can conquer the land easily. Who summoned the Magic Knights back must take a backseat and the Spirits request being donned again to fight with the Knights. I like this sequence, but it shows another difference with the show, where the girls had more time to travel and fall in love with Cephiro, while here they note they had little time to explore. Advantage anime.
The girls meet the first invader, Eagle Vision and his team from Autozam, who gives the girls a licking in his FTO robot, until their saved by a man on a horse called Landis (the man, not the horse) and his little pixie friend, the rather jealous Primera. They travel into the castle while Eagle leaves after Landis shoots at him with his sword. This is the first time in the manga that the Spirits (as they were called in Mixx’s prior volumes) are referred to as the Mashin, which was what they’ve been called everywhere else (although various fandubs of the anime called them Machines, missing the pun I guess, but the official translations were Mashin and the comic now reflects that–advantage Tokyopop). It’s not much of an introduction of Eagle and his crew really.
Returning to the castle the girls are reunited with Mokona and…I’m sorry, Gardina is now called translated as Caldina, which is rather confusing to follow. Lafarga and Ascot are there as well…along with the aforementioned Landis and Primera. Caldina has reformed, Ascot is
taller to impress Umi able to keep his monster friends in the castle like he wanted, and Lafarga is in his right mind again. It’s a nice moment before the story kicks back in. It’s learned that Landis isn’t very welcome for one of two reasons–he’s the brother of Zagato (even sounding a lot like him according to the manga) and he left Cephiro for an unknown reason long ago for Autozam, the same country that attacked earlier. Eagle also seems to know him. That’s our second mystery but it’s a character-driven one.
Speaking of character moments sleep doesn’t come easy for the Magic Knights. Umi makes peace with Clef for how she treated him when they first met, but Clef is quite understanding due to her situation when she first arrived and apologized for keeping the full secret of their mission (in the anime I think they were interrupted by Alcione and Zagato). Fuu gets some alone time with Ferio (nothing naughty, pervy folks), and Hikaru tries to apologize to Landis for what happened to Zagato (around the jealous Primera). Hikaru is also worried about the new Pillar being found before Cephiro tears itself apart. Back on the Autozam ship, Eagle passes out because the FTO drains the pilot’s mental energy plus he was using his own will power to create a road from Autozam to Cephiro (how everyone invades). It also confirms he has a history with Landis. Then we meet the other invaders, the bratty child princess Aska of Fahren and the twin sisters Tatra and Tarta (yeah, that won’t confuse me as these reviews go on) of Chizeta. The girls bonding time is interrupted by another part of Cephiro collapsing and the search for the Pillar become more important. We learn not only how one becomes the Pillar but (through a flashback via Landis) what being the Pillar may cost. He says that he will end the legend of the Magic Knights, even though he told Hikaru earlier that he doesn’t blame them but Cephiro. You don’t know how tough it is not to spoil the ending of the previous volume. Lucky for me this volume is over.
This continues to be a great story, and it’s getting better with each issue. The Tokyopop translation (still collected under Mixx Entertainment) is superior and CLAMP have improved their pacing between character moments and action scenes. You folks really need to see this story.