Silver Diamond 2 by Shiho Sugiura: B+

From the back cover:
Rakan’s normal life has been turned upside down thanks to strangers from another world suddenly appearing in his backyard! Chigusa and Natsushige are starting to become more comfortable with their new surroundings, but coming to disrupt the peace is an assassin sent by the Prince. Will Chigusa save the day again?

Ever since I unexpectedly enjoyed the review copy of the first volume of this series, I’ve been looking forward to reading the second. So much so that I did something I never do and began reading it the very day it was delivered to my doorstep by the kindly UPS man.

This second volume isn’t quite as funny as the first, though there are several amusing scenes that would be cute without the talking snake, but which he manages to make even better. A group hug scene comes to mind. Mostly, the focus is on fleshing out the plot and the characters.

We learn how the prince in the other world came to power and how he secretly derives his nourishment from the land around him. When he sends an assassin after Chigusa in the real world, said fellow blabs some gossip about Narushige and Chigusa’s backgrounds in an attempt to discredit them in Rakan’s eyes. When that backfires, Rakan shows some grit that’s not exactly unexpected but still nice to see, and the volume ends with that fellow being held prisoner.

In addition to all this, there’s the characters’ internal struggles. When Rakan learns that his new friends can return to their own world whenever, he realizes he’s become too comfortable with their presence and resolves not to get any more involved with them. Meanwhile, Chigusa is realizing he likes Rakan too much to simply drag him back to the other world, and so seeks advice on how to get him to come “gently.” This last bit yields some comedic moments as well.

I’m enjoying this series a lot at this point, and though it’s a bit low on wow moments, it’s still very solid and very good. I was worried about its fate, given the recent changes at TOKYOPOP, but it seems like it might be one of the series that will emerge unscathed. At least, solicitations for volumes 4 and 5 have shown up on RightStuf and Amazon, though the lack of information for volume 3 at TOKYOPOP’s website is a little troubling. I guess we’ll know if it’ll be coming out once the expected release date of December 30th rolls around.

Silver Diamond currently has 15 volumes in Japan. The series is still ongoing.

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