Reviewed by: Joe
Released by: Seven Seas Entertainment
Publishing Country: USA
Page Count: 180
In a land far away, there were two kingdoms: the Outside, where twisted beasts roamed that could curse with a touch, and the Inside, where humans lived in safety and peace. The girl and the beast should never have met, but when they do, a quiet fairytale begins
This is a story of two people-one human, one inhuman-who linger in the hazy twilight that separates night from day.
The Girl From the Other Side is set in a European medieval fairytale type world. It features Outsiders, cursed people who are jet black and have animal like features. If you touch an outsider you too are cursed and become an outsider.
On the outskirts of fortress city lives Shiva, a little girl. She's looked after by an outsider called Teacher. We don't yet know his real name or true connection to Shiva. It's very clear that Shiva can't touch teacher or she too will be cursed. Teacher is tall and slender has a head like a goats skull.
Shiva and teacher forage the abandoned villages around the outside for supplies and things of interest. They live near the inside, a city walled off to keep the outsiders away. This is where our adventures begin and it sets the scene for the world. It feels much like the start of a slice of life series with a twist. We're drip fed enough information to keep us hooked with this world, while also not being overwhelmed.
The artwork for The Girl from the Other Side is detailed it's mostly monotone with subtle use of screen tone. It features mainly solid blocks of black and white along with fine detailing. The style feels more like something from a Victorian printing plate press and that adds to the dark fairytale charm. It's not your standard moe affair and Nagabe's artwork feels refreshingly distinct, but also warmly familiar.
The fantasy world created here feels very original, while reading it I felt drawn in. How does Teacher know Shiva exactly? What's their connection? He comes across as a guardian or uncle like figure, but we're not exactly sure (as of yet) how the two main characters are connected. This is all intriguing and leaves me wanting more.
The cliff hanger ending is sharp too and leaves you with more questions making you hungry for the next volume.
If you enjoy something a bit different, and intriguing that doesn't spell everything out for you, then The Girl From the Other Side is for you. It has a dark tone, but also a warm heart. I'm eager to get my hands on the next volume of this manga.