Review: CLAMP’s ‘Clover’

Review of CLAMP’s manga ‘Clover’.

At first glance ‘Clover’ I didn’t the obvious; judged the book by its cover and the blurb.
My expectations for the book were quite high, being a big fan of CLAMP’s work and reading some of their other works such as; ‘Card Captor Sakura’, ‘Chobits’ and ‘Tsubasa: Resvoir Chronicles’.
All of which, I enjoyed thoroughly, however ‘Clover’ was little bit of a let down.
Firstly I feel the story has been written backwards. The end events of the book appear to be the prior events to those at the beginning of the book. The first half is slightly gripping, but at half-way point, the main character – Sue, wakes up and ‘It’s all a dream’. I have always been told that any story that ends (even half-way through) isn’t a great one.
Secondly, the style is okay, not brilliant like CLAMP’s other works but okay. Some of the character don’t appear quite right, quite a few are drawn out of proportion; huge, broad shoulders with small heads and necks. Some of the male characters have amazingly pointed chin, that look like they could cut right through ice. The backgrounds are very plain, simple and makes the reader turn the page for all the wrong reasons. The storyline, the dialogue is spread too far out, sometimes across a number of pages, which as a reader – both confuses and annoys me. I do feel however that the bonus colour splash pages in the back of the book are gorgeous and makes me wish the rest of the book was at that constant style and standard.
One of the other things that really grinded my gears as a reader was; the constant page fillers with poems and lyrics that just repeated themselves. They were rarely changed, and just the same words over and over which made the dialogue even more difficult to read. I like the time-period it is set in; sort of futuristic, baroque, Victorian-esque.
The characters are okay, however some are drawn much better than others. You can easily distinguish the differences of each of the characters. I do like Sue, the four-leaf clover, her personality is quite interesting. Although she is destined to always be alone, all she ever dreams about is being happy with other people, major contradicting character!
‘Clover’ is a re-readable manga; however if I was to buy it, it may just sit on my bookshelf collecting dust, and be brought out to read once again in a blue moon.
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