Do you remember Kaleido Star? I do. I remember I had a very contentious relationship with the series. I disliked some of it to distraction and loved some of it to tears. The series was constantly made worth watching for the intense relationship between the star of the show Layla and the energetic newcomer, Sora – a relationship that was almost, but not quite, what we hoped it would become.
I am, it seems, not the only one who felt the story needed to be “fixed.” ^_^ Yuri manga artist Saida Nika clearly felt that if there was less “break your self-esteem into shreds to force it to grow” and more “Sora and Layla sitting on a trapeze” it would be better all around, as well. And so, we find ourselves reading Cirque Arachne (サーク・アラクニ). smiling, because even the Amazon JP description say what we can all see – this is the version of Kaleido Star we always wanted.^_^
Thetis, called Teti, is a newcomer to Cirque Arachne and is paired instantly with the show’s current star, the emotionally distant Charlotte. Lotte finds her gaze returning again and again to Teti, finds herself remembering and confronting her painful past, her self-imposed loneliness and, at last, her feelings of attraction for the new girl.
Teti is everything Lotte is not – she’s openly passionate about her love for acrobatics, for her enjoyment of…everything, from high places to delicious kebabs. And Lotte.
While they train together – as Circus Mistress Leni planned all along – they grow closer until, inevitably, they open their hearts to one another. Cirque Arachne will now have two stars, who will face the audience with hands and hearts entwined. Awww.
An extra chapter of Saida’s earlier work “Berry Girl” closes the book.
Because Cirque Arachne was very obviously written for those of us who had seen Kaleido Star and wanted to see it re-created in our own image, the story has little padding. It gets right down to the meat, without much digression. Both Teti and Lotte get just enough backstory to render them individual and apart from their earlier influences. In a sense the story moves too fast, but because we all knew the rest of the story, it’s just the right length. ^_^
Art – 7
Story – 9 Fixed, at last
Characters – 8
Yuri – 10
Service – 4
Overall – 8
Now that’s she’s gotten this out of her system (for which I thank her immensely!) I look forward to more from Saida-sensei. Let’s see what else she can do. ^_^