Tears of a Lamb 3 by Banri Hidaka: B

The greatest strength of this series is the relationship between its two lead characters. After getting off to a rough start—with Kei badgering Kanzaki to allow her access to his apartment so she can search for a lost ring—it has developed into a solid friendship, with each able to confide in the other about their problems. I particularly like how Kanzaki’s consideration of Kei is shown through his actions rather than told in mere words. The best scenes are when they are engaged in heartfelt conversation.

Unfortunately, such moments do not happen often in this third installment of the series. The standout chapter actually focuses on the school doctor and her own experiences in high school. A nice character piece, it also provides a glimpse of the mysterious Suwa, the older man upon whom Kei is fixated and the owner of the ring for which she is searching.

Hidaka’s art is cute (I love the fleecy lambs sprinkled throughout) but my enjoyment is marred by the continual reliance on violence as a source of humor. Poor Kanzaki takes a pounding on practically every page and it’s really beginning to disturb me. If you can get past that, however, Tears of a Lamb definitely has something unique to offer.

ETA: As I read the galley copy in preparation for the review above, I noticed quite a few instances of dialogue appearing in an incorrect bubble (and thusly being attributed to the wrong character). I didn’t mention it then in the hopes that it would be corrected in the official release. Having just obtained said release, however, I am sad to see that they have not been corrected. Does nobody read the galley with an eye for mistakes? Isn’t that what it’s for? Did it not strike anyone as strange that the character jumping in the air jubilantly is not the one whose dialogue reads, ‘Yay!!’?! Grumble grumble.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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