Manic Manga: I・O・N



Title: I・O・N
Alternate Titles: ION, I*O*N, イ・オ・ン, I.O.N., ION-依音
Author & Artist: Tanemura Arina
Year: 1997
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
Volumes: 01 (Complete)
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Ion Tsuburagi chants the letters of her first as a charm to bring good luck when she needs it. Then she meets Mikado Hourai, the president of the Psychic Powers Research Society at school and touches a mysterious substance he’s been developing. Now chanting “I-O-N” gives her telekinetic powers! All information comes from Manga Updates. This blog post will contain spoilers so please read after the cut if you’ve already read this manga.

This short story was actually Arina Tanemura’s first full length manga. It’s a cute short story about a girl, with a special good luck charm, falling in love with a boy while attaining even more telekinetic powers. Is this any more realistic than her other manga, or the manga that’s to be? Sure; it has a mix of science and the supernatural so something like this could happen.

The art in this manga is iconic and it’s what Tanemura’s known for – big eyes, detailed hair, and the same face & personality. You see, Tanemura hadn’t really deviated from the looks she gave her other characters. There’s the spunky lead with the long hair, the friends, the pretty average looking guy, the long haired bishounen, the weird looking guy, the cheerful guy, the nerdy, etcetc. Basically, this is where it all started in terms of the looks of the characters.

For a first story, it’s fine. It’s a fine start with stories that’s to be expected from this author. But if we look at it on its own, it’s a typical shoujo story where the girl falls in love first this time but the male character is clueless with another girl vying for his affections. There’s actually a love rival for the male (he’s always after Ion and even has a  but he’s so inconsequential to the story, he’s only seen as comedy and the driving force to bring Mikaido and Ion together.

The story is pretty basic although it does explain Ion’s connection with her good luck charm and her psychic ability that’s brought on by Mikado’s substance. For a short story, it works. It doesn’t really need any other extra information, although it’d be nice to get to know Ion’s father more other than the cop-out “He’s actually the scientist Mikaido’s work is based off of! And it just so happens…” trope. But despite this, it’s cute and it’s a nice read which doesn’t require a lot of deep thought especially since it’s so predictable.

If you’re interested in Tanemura’s first story, by all means, this is for you but on its own, it’s just a cute story about love and telekinesis!

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