Review

I.O.N.

written and illustrated by Arina Tanemura

Ion has a special technique to make good things happen to her. She chants the letters of her name and something good will happen, whether it be big or small.

Unfortunately, Ion still isn't having much luck in the romance department. One boy likes her and asks her out, but she has eyes on schoolmate Mikado, especially after he hides her from the other boy. And Mikado? He likes to think about psychic research and all that goes with it. He talks about a substance that increases psychic powers.

Ion seems already to have some sort of psychic abilities, judging by the good luck of chanting her name. However, after hanging out with Mikado, her powers increase. That's because she outright touches the substance he told her about earlier. She can levitate and move objects with her mind. Mikado is impressed…but does he like Ion for her powers, or does he like her as a girl?

To make matters worse, his ex-girlfriend shows up and is still interested in him. Not only that, but she's a psychic, too! Will she and Ion have to out-psychic each other in order to get the boy? Though the book is so much about psychic abilities, a good portion of Ion reads like a typical high-school girl fight over a boy. Both Ion and the ex-girlfriend want Mikado, and they don't give up easily.

Still, all the psychic stuff is more interesting than everything about fighting over a boy. And it's cool toward the end when the psychic part of the book gets more leverage and Ion's powers are explained. That makes it more than a slice-of-life high-school story.

ION is a single volume, something not too typical in manga. It's also just a little bit longer than your average manga, though not by much. This is an early work from Arina Tanemura, and it does kind of seem like a book by someone who's feeling the genre out. There are some rough patches. It's not as tight as it could be, but it's definitely not bad. Fans of Tanemura's later works, like Full Moon and Gentlemen's Alliance, will probably enjoy seeing how the mangaka started out. Artwise, it has the feel of a specific kind of shojo, with big eyes and plenty of glitter. It's a good escapist read, and will most likely find the bulk of its audience in high-school girls.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on October 18, 2011

I.O.N.
written and illustrated by Arina Tanemura

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2008
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
  • ISBN-10: 1421518007
  • ISBN-13: 9781421518008