Cover Image: Mao, Vol. 1

Mao, Vol. 1

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Member Reviews

In Mao Vol 1, Nanoka is a schoolgirl with a tragic history. While traveling with her parents, their car falls into a deep sinkhole. While seven-year-old Nanoka is saved, her parents are both dead. When she returns to the site years later trying to discover what happened, she passes into an alternate reality. There she meets the exorcist Mao and his assistant Otoyo. Mao is searching for the shape-hiding monster Byoki. Nanoka experiences some strange phenomenon and decides to tag along with Mao and Otoyo.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mao Vol 1. It has a quest, time travel, ghosts, monsters, and three great mysteries. I couldn’t ask for a more seamless genre mash-up—whether in a manga or a standard book. 5 stars and a favorite!

Thanks to VIZ Media and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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The protagonist of Mao is a teenage girl who is taken into the past after entering a shopping arcade near where she had a mysterious car accident as a child. In the Taisho era she runs into a man named Mao who has been cursed and because of that curse has been living for 900 years. She returns home but then starts to develop superhuman powers herself. Now she must return to the Taisho era to try and discover what is happening to her and how it is connected to the accident in her childhood.

Unlike Takahashi’s previous works I appreciated that the male lead was confident and strong. Typical of her previous works there are a lot of monster of the week type stories. However because Mao is such a strong character I am interested to see how the story develops. I would definitely recommend and will be reading more.
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Thank you NetGalley and Viz Media for allowing me to read the arc.

Nanako lost her family at a young age. Years later, at the accident site, she finds herself time traveling to 1923. She meets Mao and learns that not all is as it seems with herself and with him. They have a common enemy.

As always, Rumiko Takahashi gives us intrigue, mystery, and maybe a start of a romantic relationship.

I found I was reminiscing over Inu Yasha as there are similar elements within Mao. Time traveling young woman, sword wielding young man, and yokai.  It also has the beginnings of a reluctant relationship between Mao and Nanako. Despite that, the story is different enough to want to see where it leads.

I recommend this one for fans of shonen stories.  

Thanks again for the opportunity to read this!
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This was a really strong first volume in my opinion. If you're a fan of Blue Exorcist or Bleach I think you'd also enjoy this title. 
I hadn't read any other manga where there were continual shifts between realities which I found interesting. 
Looking forward to learning more about the yokai and other magical beings of this world in further volumes.
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Man, I love Takahashi’s work.

It’s so distinctly hers. You know when you pick up a volume or a book and you get the sense of their style in how they wrote or draw a panel, and Takahashi’s is undeniable. Not only is her art style distinctive and one of my favourites, it feels so nostalgic of her other well known works. 

From the description, I was worried whether this was going to be a Inuyasha 2.0, but Mao had its own identity. It feels more of a combination of Mermaid Saga and Inuyasha, with the feudal elements, and the monsters. The beginning didn’t grab me as quickly as her other works, but I was fully invested towards the middle and end when Takahashi writes what she knows best: creatures and mythology. Their designs can be creepy, and the action has your full attention straight away that makes you excited for where it will take you.

The weakest part might have to be the characters. They haven’t shown much personality to make me invested in them yet, but I trust Takahashi will explore that more later in the next volume.

I’m eager to keep reading to see where she takes this. I don’t think it will be one of my favourites from hers, but I’m still a huge fan of hers.
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I went into this manga blind, the only thing I knew was that the author wrote Inuyasha (which I've never seen or read). This single issue kept me invested from beginning to end. I enjoyed all the character and I'm intrigued to see how their relationship grows from here. The plot I very much enjoyed and I can see it being an over-arcing plot for many volumes to come.
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I love this! Takahashi is back with a new series featuring youkai. this time with a different twist. As a fan who has been invested in her work since Mermaid Saga, this one really dives in quick. Young Nanoka is the sole survivor of a mysterious car crash that killed her parents and lives with her grandfather and a creepy weirdo obsessed with giving her disgusting milkshakes. One day she passes through a torii gate and enters the Taisho period, where she gets attacked by a giant preying mantis! She meets the cursed Dr. Mao and sets off on another adventure through history while she tries to uncrack what really happened to her parents. I would highly suggest this to teens and adults, especially those with a love for her past works Inu Yasha and Ren-ne.
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Takashi plays to her strengths here with a story set in the present but similar to Inuyasha.  The protagonists are more likable and with fewer egocentricities than previous works and you'll find a more straightforward and earnest attitude.  In some ways, I was greatly reminded of my favorite work by her - Firetripper.  We have time travel, yokai, ayakashi, and the usual supernatural beings all inhabiting both a modern world but also a Taisho-era (1920s) Japan.

Story:  Teenager Nanako suffered a mysterious and horrific tragedy in her past that has left her weakened today. But she is cheerful and well liked by her classmates.  When she visits the site of her 'accident' one day, she is transported back in time to 1923.  When a giant yokai in the shape of a preying mantis attacks her, her blood causes it pain and it tries to flee. In steps a man with a sword who promptly slays it.  Turns out his name is Mao and he is an exorcist - and both soon discover they might just have a shared past that all comes back to a fearsome cat demon.

Of note, Nanoka isn't stuck in the past for the rest of the series - she moves back and forth between 1923 and the present by going through the gated entrance to a small shopping mall. The premise of the series will be the couple looking for Byoki - the cat demon that looks to have created them.  As well, Nanoka might have some special abilities as a result of her past encounter with Byoki.

Nanoka is your typical determined, genki, and good hearted female lead.  Mao is a toned down Inuyasha - he's earnest, not as rude or outspoken, and tends more toward ambivalence to things that fall outside of his objectives (e.g., he won't save Nanoka in the beginning until he becomes personally involved).  So you won't get the Inuyasha or Ranma antics and for once, the male lead is played as smart and aloof rather than stupid and outspoken.  That may take away a lot of the humor prevalent in past series but it still makes for a good read.

The art is standard Takahashi - clean, easy to follow, and nicely developed/matured since previous novels.  It's still her signature style but a bit more mainstream.  Readers will have no problems following the action and, as always, her panel set up are excellent and tell the story fluidly.

In all, there is a lot of mystery set up, we have two great characters to follow, and the milieu of both 1923 and the modern makes the story that much more interesting.  Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
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This was the supernatural adventure I didn't know I'd been craving. As a longtime reader of Ruko Takahashi's work, I was excited to jump into this series, and was satisfied after finishing this first volume. The main characters are fully realized, but Takahashi threads bits of mystery throughout, encouraging me to read on. I'm excited to see where this series goes, and I'm looking forward to the next volumes.

I would recommend this to both longtime readers of Takahashi's work as well as anyone looking for a well paced supernatural comedy with a hint of intrigue.
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What a solid start to a new series from this mangaka. It has the feel that is influenced at least, if not connected to the Inuyasha world.
Nanoka was in a tragic accident as a young girl in which her parents died, and technically, she should have died also. One day, she walks through a gate, and is transported back in time, just in time to be attacked by a Yokai. 
Thankfully, a man named Mao is there, and he rescues her. He himself has been cursed by a Yokai, and is looking for said Yokai to lift the curse from him. 
This looks like it's going to feel a lot like their other fantasy works, and I am incredibly excited!!
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I enjoy Rumiko Takahasi's work, and this title was no exception! It held my interest throughout the volume, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing where the story continues!
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While visiting the site of her parents' mysterious death, high school student Nanoka enters a portal that takes her back in time to 1920's Japan. There, She meets exorcist Mao who is searching for a demon that has cursed him. Later events connect Nanoka with this demon as well, and maybe also connects to the accident that caused her parents' deaths and strange powers that she is now exhibiting. This manga does have some similarities to Inuyasha, but the characters are very different. I think if you are a fan of Rumiko Takahashi's other work or historical mangas, you will enjoy this one too. I wish the whole series was out in English so I could read them all in one go!
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This first volume is perfect for fans of Rumiko Takahashi as well as those who have not read her previous work. Like Inuyasha, Mao has both a time travel element (though much less farther back), and the past-dwelling protagonist somehow being tied to the modern-day one. With the revival of Inuyasha through the new TV series, I think this series will be an instant hit with old and new fans alike.
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Having read through Mermaid Saga, Ranma and Inu Yasha I was immediately interested when I saw this manga. One of the things I like about Rumiko Takahashi is that her stories are easy to track, even when they span many volumes and loads of characters. Her books are paced well so you don’t lose track of the story and characters are introduced gradually so you don’t feel like you are losing track of them.

Visually Rumiko Takahashi art style has never been my favourite, but I appreciate how clear the panels are. There is something nice about following the pages without having clustered panels.

I read through the first volume quickly and have feel like I ‘know’ the main characters, even though there is still plenty of mystery. As a first volume I think this book sets up everything nicely. I am looking forward to the next instalment.
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A huge thank you to Netgalley and VIZ Media for allowing me to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

When I saw this title pop up on Netgalley, I immediately knew it was Rumiko Takahashi. Inuyasha is one of my favorites, so of course I had to read this one as well! The concept sounds very similar to Inuyasha when you read the summary, but digging into the book, the story itself and all the details are different enough that Mao is a fresh new story. Rumiko Takahashi is an excellent storyteller and I can't wait to see where this series goes!
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Nanoka survived a terrible accident that killed both her parents when she was a child. As she returns to the scene, she finds herself transported back in time to the Taisho period (1912-26) where ghosts and monsters run wild. She meets a boy named Mao, an 'exorcist' or 'medium' who has been cursed by the same ghost who may have cursed Nanoka...

Rumiko Takahashi has created some of the most familiar series in manga over the last 30 -40 years: Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, to name a few. But you may find there's more than a passing resemblance between her latest series, Mao, and Inuyasha, right down to the time-travelling schoolgirl and the cursed boy with a special sword and a very small companion who, together, fight monsters to defeat a cursed villain. 

Viz's translation is solid as always, and the volume covers the first few chapters of the series. It's published as as serial so there is often no rhyme or reason for where a volume ends, even if that is the middle of an ongoing story.  Sometimes a series like this takes a couple of volumes to find its feet and establish a unique identity, but at the moment, it feels like a strange alternate version of Inuyasha with more muted characters. 

Takahashi's other series are enduringly popular, so I would definitely get this in for our library.
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Thank you to NetGalley, VIZ Media, and Rumiko Takahashi for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

As a lover of Takahashi's Inu-Yasha, I was interested in what this new series might be like. Reading the description, I found the initial premise rather similar to that of Inu-Yasha, but it's definitely its own story and has quite a bit of potential.

Nanoka was in a strange accident when she was seven in which she survived and her parents died. She now lives with her grandfather. When walking home from school with her friends one day, she finds herself taken to 1920's Japan, where demons are plentiful. There she meets Mao, an exorcist of malignant demons, though a doctor to demons who are kind and benign. Over 900 years old, Mao seeks a cat-demon that placed a curse on him, making his blood poisonous to demons and granting him a strange eternal life. When he meets Nanoka, he suspects she may have been cursed by the same demon. 

The first 75% of the manga was quite interesting in setting up the characters, world, and plot, though the next part of the story, involving investigating a mysterious priestess and her potential dark magic, seemed a bit less interesting and not quite in line with the main plot, though the connections are there. I am certainly interested in Mao as a demon doctor and am curious as to whether any good demons will make the cut as star characters in this series at all. There were quite some artistically interesting ones. Once again, yes there are certainly similarities to Inu-Yasha, but this manga has a lot of potential and I am rather excited to see where this one goes.
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