Sand Chronicles 2 by Hinako Ashihara: A

From the back cover:
Just when Ann has adjusted to life in the countryside—and even has a boyfriend!—her father invites her to live with him in Tokyo. Now she must choose between a father she hardly knows and a young man she is just beginning to know. But she soon discovers that they aren’t the only ones vying for her affections!

In a recent post on his blog, David Welsh said, “It’s entirely possible that Hinako Ashihara’s Sand Chronicles is less a great graphic novel for teens than a great graphic novel for former teens who remember the pointed moments of awkwardness and uncertainty of that time of life.” I kept remembering that comment as I read this volume, and I think it’s very true.

There’s a definite sense of “this was once terribly important to me and I wanted it to last forever, but now it’s all just a memory” about it all. This is bolstered by the way the story is structured—like a series of recollections and snapshots in time, with the shortest interval between chapters so far being six months. It induces strong nostalgia in me for those days—the me I was, the things I did, the people I used to see every day—and I think a distance of some years from one’s adolescence is required for that kind of wistful retrospection to flourish.

As regards the story itself, I really love both chapters included in this volume. In the first, Ann must decide whether to remain in Shimane with Daigo and her friends or to return to Tokyo to live with her father. The depiction of her divided loyalties and struggle to decide is very well done and I was impressed by how much of an emotional response the conclusion to the chapter provoked in me. In the second, the love triangle that’s been developing since the first volume gets explored. I really like that neither of the boys involved is an easy shoujo stereotype. One is more reserved than the other, but there are no fiery hotheads involved.

Seriously, y’all. Read this manga.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.


  1. You don’t have to tell me to read it. 😉 I already am.

    All the characters feel so REAL. They have real personalities and real problems and a real head on their shoulders. They react to their realistic problems realistically, applying both logic and their own personality to deal with them. That’s a lot more than can be said for many shoujo out there. I can believe their actions, and sympathize with them even if I might dislike it. (I can even understand the suicidal mother). David Welsh might have a point when he says it’s more for adults who wants to feel nostalgic for a bit, but I think it’s great for teens too, actually…

  2. Well said! That’s kind of what I was getting at when I mentioned Ann’s divided loyalties. It was so clear what she was thinking on each side of the equation and made perfect sense that she’d be torn. And because no one is being an idiot, the impact of the story is much stronger.


  1. […] Shojo Stories and reviews it at Soliloquy in Blue. She also checks out vol. 8 of Maison Ikkoku, vol. 2 of Sand Chronicles, and vol. 12 of xxxHolic. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie likes vol. 2 of Suppli better than vol. […]

Speak Your Mind