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Manga Review: The Tarot Café, Vol. 2 by Sang-Sun Park

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The second volume of The Tarot Café was just as hard to put down as the first. But then again once you start reading why would you want to? In this volume we finish the story of the Jester and the Alchemist which was started in volume one, learn more about Pamela and her mysterious past, and we meet a werewolf.

Episode five, “A Heartless Princess, an Alchemist, and a Jester (Part 2),” continues from volume one and finishes the tale of the evil Princess, the Alchemist who kidnapped her hoping for love, and the Jester doll that was made to please her. When the Alchemist finally realizes how truly horrible the Princess is he must make a choice between his creation and her evil.

In Episode six, “The Werewolf Boy,” we meet Aaron, a werewolf with a painful past. When his alcoholic father sells him to a mysterious man by the name of Nebiros, Aaron for the first time is given everything he wants. But Aaron feels trapped, and though he has promised not to betray Nebiros by leaving the safety of the castle he does so at the first chance available. When Aaron realizes his mistake it is too late. Cursed to wander the earth as a werewolf he seeks out Pamela, hoping that she will be able to help him.

This story is particularly interesting because we learn something crucial about Pamela, a hint of things to come, at least. Aaron makes it to the Tarot Café but in werewolf form. He attacks Pamela, unaware of his actions, and bites her on the neck. But the bite doesn’t kill or turn Pamela into a monster. Instead, the wound heals and we learn that Pamela is much more than just human.

And in Episode seven, “The Witch Hunt,” we learn a lot about Pamela’s past, things that were only hinted at in the first volume. When a man stumbles into her café wearing a face straight out of her past, it stirs all kinds of memories. We learn about Pamela’s mother as well as Pamela’s real age. Not to mention a little bit about Belus, the man who spends a lot of his time hanging out at the café, who also has connections to Nebiros and Aaron. Though the true meaning of those connections are yet to be revealed.

As in the first volume, Park’s artwork is nothing short of perfection. Beautiful and detailed, the story is told in elegant lines that simply demands attention — and once again you can tell that Park has a fascination with fairy-tales. I’m really enjoying The Tarot Café and I can’t wait to pick up the next volume.

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About Katie T. Buglet