Title: Clover (1-4)
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“Kazuhiko is a young, but already deeply wounded black ops agent of a baroque, retro-tech future – pulled out of retirement to escort Sue, a mysterious waif, to a destination she alone knows. Sue and Kazuhiko have never met, yet she knows him, having grown up since the age of four with her only human contact, two distant voices: that of her elderly “grandma,” General Ko, and of Kazuhiko’s dead girlfriend, Ora. And Sue has been kept in that cage all these years because of what she is, and what the Clover Leaf Project found her to be – a military top secret, and the most dangerous person in the world!” – (Goodreads)
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WARNING: Possible Spoilers Ahead
Clover is a four volume manga series by Clamp and a series I was much looking forward to. However, sadly, it was rather lackluster. The art, while beautiful, was very sparse. I think I can see where Clamp was going with that and sometimes it really worked to convey the emotion of the characters, but it really ended up leaving things rather dry more than not. The story itself is supposed to be taking place in a futuristic type world, but the art hardly shows that at all and you’re left in a time limbo.
Now that I mentioned the story, let’s talk more about that. In short it was lacking. It didn’t have the depth I was hoping for at all. That’s not to say that it was horrible, it just felt very generic at points. The first two volumes follow Sue and Kazuhiko as the latter escorts the former to place she wants to go. Sue, is a government secret and they are attacked rather frequently on there journey. The two characters are hardly developed and there is so much singing that I feel a lot of story that could have been told just wasn’t. Volumes 3 & 4 are basically prequels to volumes 1 & 2. Volume 3 shows the previous romantic relationship Kazuhiko was in and Sue’s connection to it, while Volume 4 centers around Gingetsu and Ran and how they meet. In light of this I would recommend this reading order:
For me, Volume 4 was certainly the highlight of the series. I wish it was more about Gingetsu and Ran rather than Kazuhiko and Sue as they are just more interesting. Now, if they had used all four volumes to tell the story of Kazuhiko’s and Sue’s journey to Sue’s happiness instead of just the first two than I feel the story would have been better, more solid. There would certainly be more substance to it anyway.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad series, but it didn’t really bring anything new to the table. I was actually rather disappointed as I usually really like Clamp (not including the ending of Wish). I would recommend this series to people whom have already experienced some of Clamp’s other work, but if you are new to them or manga itself I would suggest checking out something else by them first like Kobato or Card Captor Sakura.
Rating: a solid 3 out of 5