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Manga Review: The Tarot Cafe Vol. 7 by Sang-Sun Park

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I’m always sad when I come to the end of a series. Whether it’s the final book in The Lord of the Rings or The Twilight Saga I never want the reading journey to end. Today is a bittersweet day for me because I’ve finished The Tarot Café, my favorite manga series by Sang-Sun Park. All my questions have been answered; I’ve been given closure for my favorite characters; and still I find myself wishing that the series wasn’t done.  

Through The Tarot Café Pamela has struggled with her past. She’s questioned how and why she came to be immortal as well as searching for a way out of it. To that end Pamela has been collecting pieces of Berial’s shattered necklace. Once Pamela presents the completed necklace to Berial, she’ll be released from her immortality.  

Back in Volume Six, Pamela’s long time friend Belus was captured. Pamela, realizing that her feelings for him run much deeper than just friendship, is devastated but determined to save him. Several other storylines converge at this point as well. Aaron, Pamela’s werewolf friend, is reunited with his love Nebiros and Ash, Pamela’s lover and enemy, finally has his fate decided. Volume after volume we’ve gotten closer to the secrets and lies that surround Pamela. Through all that she’s helped others, reading tarot cards and helping fairies, dragons, and ghost understand their lives. And when Pamela is in need it’s these people who come through for her.  

It’s hard to wrap up this final volume, considering everything that came before, and I don't want to give away the end. But Pamela finally gets a small piece of happiness, a little broken maybe, but she’ll take what she can get. And who are we to say it shouldn't work? The end seemed a little rushed to me. A lot of time was covered very quickly, but over all this was a very satisfying conclusion.   

As always, Sang-Sun Park’s artwork is stunning. I just can’t say that enough. I’m truly impressed with Park’s style and talent, emotions are conveyed effortlessly and each panel is exquisitely drawn. There isn’t a badly drawn character in the series or a line out of place. The Tarot Café is a must buy for the artwork alone; throw on top of it a killer storyline and you just can’t beat it.  

I love this series. I love the highs and lows; I love that I’ve had my heart wrenched a thousand different ways each time I turned the page. I love that even when everything seems most dark there is always a ray of light; there is always hope. Life is never easy, and Park has created a character that has been through the worst of what life has to offer. Still, Pamela comes out the other side wanting to be happy, and hoping for it.

I finished Volume Seven, and the first thought that popped into my head was, “I don’t want it to be over,” and, lucky me, it isn’t. In January of 2009, Tokyopop will be releasing, The Tarot Café: The Novel by Chandra Rooney. And I can’t wait.    

Read Reviews of Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three, Volume Four, Volume Five, and Volume Six.

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About Katie T. Buglet