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Once upon a time...

In a land far away, there were two kingdoms: the Outside, where twisted beasts roamed that could curse with a touch, and the Inside, where humans lived in safety and peace. The girl and the beast should never have met, but when they do, a quiet fairytale begins.

This is a story of two people - one human, one inhuman - who linger in the hazy twilight that separates night from day.

177 pages, Paperback

First published March 10, 2016

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See also ながべ.

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5 stars
9,187 (43%)
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3 stars
2,860 (13%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,321 reviews
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
November 27, 2022
I don’t have deep background in fantasy manga, but this first volume is huge on mood and atmosphere and likable for all that. It has a touch of darkness in the art that works to complicate the sweet, innocent feeling of some aspects of the story. The art is really the heart o this, just gorgeous, and there are very few words, so the images move us (slowly) along. A young girl named Shiva lives on the “other side,” in a vacated village with a guardian known only as "Teacher". Teacher is sorta humanoid, and sorta creepy, dark, faintly Edward Gorey and Lovecraft. Teacher protects Shiva, helping her differentiate between the Inside and the Outside. Shiva and Teacher are also forbidden to touch, but they are connected in other ways.

At one point Shiva leaves Teacher’s care to seek out her grandmother, and then we begin to understand just a bit of what is going on, but this is a series, and it is fantasy, possibly dark fantasy, so we have to be patient. There’s some kind of Curse where if an Outsider touches an Insider she becomes a demonic beast. So possibly we have to this to look forward to. Maybe not.

You get some idea of what is going on with the world-making when Teacher reads a story from the child's book, a story that basically provides the bare bones of exposition for what's going on in a general way, but we are still largely in the dark. . . though this is okay, because this is fantasy, and mystery is really what we are all about here.

The subtitle, Siúil a Ruin, is a traditional Irish song, sung from the point of view of a woman lamenting a lover who has embarked on a military career. It is not clear yet what connection this has to the story, but I will just bet it is relevant, in some way. I like the song, so I hope the meaning gets revealed, in some fashion.

Siúil, siúil, siúil a rúin
Siúil go sochair agus siúil go ciúin
Siúil go doras agus éalaigh liom

I wish I were on yonder hill
'Tis there I'd sit and cry my fill
Till every tear would turn a mill
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

I'll sell my rod, I'll sell my reel
I'll sell my only spinning wheel
To buy my lover a sword of steel
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

I wish, I wish, I wish in thee
I wish I had my heart again
And they may think I'm not complete
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

Siúil, siúil, siúil a rúin
Siúil go sochair agus siúil go ciúin
Siúil go doras agus éalaigh liom
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

So in general, it's a kind of longing for restoration/reconciliation/healing. So I am quite enticed by this tale, and a little worried for Shiva for various reasons. Am I worried Teacher may betray her? Somewhat, yes. But my hope is that the spark of connection/protection we see will deepen. I suspect over time we'll find out how Teacher got to the other side, and what the ominous sense of danger seems to be about. We’ll see.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
940 reviews14k followers
June 2, 2019
4.75 ish stars??

this book was such an interesting journey. from the world building to the characters to the drawing style, everything was executed immaculately. i think the story was equal parts grotesque yet lighthearted and sweet, which made it addicting to read. it definitely kept my attention enough to read in one sitting, and i intend to delve into the next volume immediately then request the rest from my library!
Profile Image for Tina Haigler.
297 reviews103 followers
September 3, 2019
This was really good. I believe it's based on a fairy tale, but it was one I wasn't familiar with, so I was intrigued. The mythology was interesting, and I was invested in the characters (at least the two important ones) from the first page. I especially loved the internal struggle of the character that should've been a villain, but managed to hold on to his humanity by caring for this little girl. I instantly loved him after seeing his devotion to her. She is sweet and naïve, and fully trusting of this physically fearsome creature. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes manga, and odd fairy tales. This one ended on a cliff hanger so be prepared to read Vol 2 as well.
Profile Image for The Artisan Geek.
445 reviews7,262 followers
July 12, 2020
That was both super cute and wholesome. I think this is a manga I could really fall in love with. I just love how much Teacher cares about Shiva an can't wait to see how they will develop as characters in the future :)

Ooh some dark fairy tale manga. Very excited to dive in :)

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Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
April 29, 2021
fulfilling my 2021 goal to read one book each month by an author i have never read despite owning more than one of their books.

starting with three stars = room to grow.

review to come.
Profile Image for Ann (Inky Labyrinth).
188 reviews152 followers
June 28, 2017
Imagine yourself as a little girl, inviting a well-dressed, polite demon to come to your tea party. Would you be afraid, despite the horned monster being dressed in fancy shoes and a waistcoat? Probably.

Our fearless, young Shiva does not just invite but demands that her protector and caretaker, lovingly deemed “Teacher”, has tea with her everyday. In a town and surrounding forest that has been abandoned, there is often not much else for them to do to pass the time - once their chores are done, of course.

The back story to the adventures of our two main characters is this:

Long ago, there was a God(des) of Light and a God of Darkness that had created everything. “Rage drove the God of Darkness mad. He transformed his punishment into a curse and it spread to others. The God of Light […] built a vast, enormous wall to keep his curse from spreading.” The cursed ones are known as the “Outsiders”, and the wall only holds them back for so long…

Shiva is left alone in a small town overrun with Outsiders, and for some reason unknown to us yet, Teacher takes her under his wing and cares for her like his own child.

We go through a few regular days in the life of Shiva and Teacher - tea parties and all - until they run into a group of soldiers hunting for Outsiders. Will they run, or will they fight? And are human soldiers really the only enemies to be found near their cottage in the woods?

I have not read a lot of manga in my days (which adds up to about 10,010). In fact, the only series I've tackled have been Pita-Ten, which delighted me as a teen; and the first few book of the infamous One Piece story, but this was one of the most enchanting and magical stories I have ever read, manga or not.

The art, all done in black and white, is gorgeous and could tell a story with no words at all. The dichotomy of little Shiva in her white dress and rainboots against Teacher in his black suit is symbolism at its best. Teacher, a horned demon who confesses he does not even possess a mouth, shows incredible emotion through his eyes, as well as his careful selection of words. Shiva is absolutely adorable, funny, and never annoying – which is quite easy to do when writing about children, apparently. I know nothing about the author Nagabe, but I am willing to be they have children, or have spent a lot of time around them.

The Girl From The Other Side is an exquisite, richly imagined fairytale, which the perfect amount of light sprinkled in a rather dark story. The concept feels incredibly fresh, even as it is a “Lightness versus Darkness” tale at its core. Perhaps it is because there is so much intermingling of the two. The demon, who is supposed to be ruthless and evil, is keeping after an innocent girl - while a band of soldiers, who are supposed to be fighting for the side of Light and Goodness, are bent on killing anyone they come across, without bothering to ask questions.

Truly the only complaint I have is that it were longer, but thankfully, I can pick up the second volume tomorrow. Waiting for the third, which will not be released until Halloween, will be quite a challenge.

I’d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of fairly dark yet quirky stories, fairy tales, or fantasy. It is far from traditional Japanese manga, and perhaps the most original story I have had the pleasure of reading this year yet.

Profile Image for Shaghayegh.
73 reviews88 followers
September 23, 2023
من آدم سست عنصری هستم! اگه تو آپدیتاتون یه اثر وسوسه‌کننده ببینم، برنامه‌‌ای که قرار بود طبقش پیش برم رو به هم می‌زنم و اون کتاب رو می‌خونم. و این بار سراغ این مانگا رفتم که با ریویوی Arghoon ترغیب و با امتیازات بهار به جلدهای بعدیش، مجاب شدم که خوندنش رو شروع کنم.
دو شخصیت اصلی کتاب تو طرح جلد کتاب نمایان هستن. دختر بچه‌ای به اسم شیوا و موجود عجیب غریبی که دخترک مانگا، معلم صداش می‌زنه. و عنوانی که به ترانه‌ای ایرلندی اشاره می‌کنه Siúil, a Rún و ارتباطش با داستان مشخص نیست و به گمونم تو جلدهای بعدی واضح‌تر میشه.
فضای مانگا ترکیبی از ظلمت و روشنایی هست. ساکنین این دو سرزمین در تضاد و جدال با همن. روشنایی با لمس تاریکی، به نفرینی دچار میشه که گویا ازش رهایی نداره.
شیوا (یا به عبارتی مخلوق روشنایی) به دلایل نامعلومی زیر پر و بال معلم (یا به عبارتی مخلوق تاریکی) قرار گرفته. معلم برخلاف ظاهر و گفته‌های بقیه، موجود زیبایی هست که با دل و جون میخوای بغلش کنی و نفرین‌شده شی!
سیر داستانی آروم، لطیف و رمزآلود هست که سوالات بی‌جوابی رو در ذهن خواننده ایجاد و احتمالا از قصد این کار رو می‌کنه تا ادامه‌‌ش بدی و سر دربیاری که چرا این اتفاقات در حال افتادن هستن. نقاشی‌ها قشنگن و شخصیت‌پردازی هم به خوبی انجام شده. گویا ایده‌ی داستان تکراری هست اما به گمونم اگر بهش فرصت بدین می‌تونه خودش رو نشون بده.
در کل از خوندنش راضیم و به سراغ جلدهای بعدی میرم، چون معماها حل نشدن و ارتباط شعر هم با داستان متوجه نشدم.

پ.ن ۱: هیچ جوره نمیشه عاشق تاریکی نشد ^^
پ.ن ۲: همش حس می‌کنم که معلم یه نسبتی با شیوا داره و به همین خاطر ازش محافظت می‌کنه. یا چون انسان بوده و می‌دونه که تاریکی چه بلایی میتونه به سر دخترک بیاره، با تمام توانش میخواد این اتفاق نیفته.
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,541 reviews12.9k followers
April 24, 2021
In fairytale world there is the cursed land, where only monsters dwell, and the uncursed land, where humans live. The girl lives on the other side - the cursed side - somehow untouched by a curse but guarded by a cursed creature. Their quiet lives are disrupted by soldiers hunting the cursed…

This was a pretty good first volume but what is it with this weird title - “Siuil, a Run”, with accents over the both “u”s? Is that another language? No character here is called Siuil. Baffling.

And that’s my biggest issue with this book: there’s too much thrown at the reader to accept without explanation. What is this curse and where did it come from? How does it not affect Shiva, the little girl? If Teacher, her satyr-like guardian, is cursed then does that mean he used to be a human? Why are there abandoned towns - can the curse affect buildings too?

I don’t need to know everything in the first volume but, considering how little happens here, Nagabe could’ve fleshed out the story concepts a bit more. For the most part we just see Shiva and Teacher doing basic domestic things like preparing meals and chopping firewood. It’s not until the final act, when Shiva ventures out into the woods by herself, that anything exciting happens - and it was a great way to close out the book.

Still, the relationship between Shiva and Teacher is very sweet - both are pleasant protagonists to spend time with - and Shiva’s character is exactly how a girl her age behaves/talks (I have a niece her age).

Nagabe creates a fraught and enchanting atmosphere of tension and magic, to beguile and keep the reader turning the pages. The art is also very understated but beautiful - besides Shiva’s character design maybe, this book doesn’t look like most manga does.

I found it too vague and underwritten to be very satisfying but Nagabe gives the reader enough to enjoy the story of this first volume. A fine all-ages manga that’s kinda like a less scary Pan’s Labyrinth.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
3,000 reviews1,207 followers
June 25, 2021
Premise: The Girl from the Other Side is a sweet, slightly gloomy but engaging fairy tale about a little girl in white (named Shiva) and a humanoid horned black beast (named Teacher) living in a small cottage among the wood, in a world which is divided as Inside and Outside, Cursed and Uncursed.

The people from the Inside fear the Cursed Ones (black and beastly humanoid creatures who wander in the woods) from the Outside, so they protect themselves by surrounding their towns with a great wall to keep the Cursed Ones and their Curse out. But at the outskirt of this wall, live an oblivious little girl who stays with her Teacher and awaits the return of her 'Auntie'. But when human soldiers start searching the woods, things can become very dangerous for the trusting little girl.

This first volume gives such the basic world building and establishment of our two MCs. The world building is refreshing enough but what really intrigued me is the terrific artwork, it has a sweet yet unsettling fairy tale quality in it and in part the beauty of the woods and the abandoned village the MCs live in, is expressed like it's from an impressionist painting. OMG, I'm totally smitten and enchanted.
Profile Image for Kerri.
988 reviews368 followers
November 7, 2019
This was my first time reading manga, and I was very pleased with it! It only took a few minutes to adjust to reading right to left*. I was drawn to this particular one by the intriguing cover, which is a bit spooky but also quite warm and inviting.
The story was strange and beautiful, with some lovely artwork. I was quite sad to finish it, especially knowing I will have a bit of a wait before I can order the next volumes. It ends on a rather tense moment, and I so wanted to go straight onto the next one!

I will be reading the rest when I can, and perhaps venturing a little more into a previously unexplored area of books!

*There was also a helpful diagram at the back of the book, which I referred to a few times.
Profile Image for Valentina Ghetti.
175 reviews1,783 followers
July 5, 2022
È il primo manga della mia vita. Non ho strumenti tecnici per giudicare, solo emozioni.
“The girl from the other side” è un manga tenerissimo (Maestro padre dell’anno) su una famiglia decisamente anticonvenzionale.
Mi è piaciuto il modo in cui si viene a conoscere l’interiorità di quello che è definito “mostro” e la sua dedizione nei confronti della bimba di cui si prende cura.
Nonostante la brevità dell’opera il modo in cui è costruita la tensione nelle scene di “scontro” tra le due realtà, è potentissimo.

Non vedo l’ora di leggere il secondo dopo il finale cliffhanger del primo!
Profile Image for Amir.
46 reviews35 followers
August 24, 2021
وای پسر
ایدش رو حس می‌کنم قبلا هم داشتیم ولی کلیشه‌ای نیست و عالی پراخته شده. خیلی آرت محشری داره. یکی از بهترین شروع داستان‌ها رو داشت. واقعا نمی‌دونم چی بگم. خیلی هماهنگه همه چیزش. شخصیت پردازی، توضیحات، خود داستان و... همه چیز رو خیلی خوب همزمان جلو برد و با پایانش یه ...لعنتی چه پایانی داشت این ولوم. قلبم اومد تو دهنم. حتما ادامش می‌دم. خیلی خوشم اومد
آپلود عکس
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,743 reviews5,283 followers
October 1, 2022
This was such a lovely, quiet, gloomy little manga and I really enjoyed it! My only complaint is that, while the art was lovely, it tends to run so dark and shadow-y that it was a little bit lacking in details sometimes; that said, it feels like an intentional art design and one that I just need to get used to. I definitely want to continue this series, especially with that little "twist" at the end catching my interest!

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Profile Image for Calista.
4,067 reviews31.3k followers
January 19, 2019
This is an interesting story that is just getting interesting. We barely know anything. We know there are humans and inhumans and if a human touches an inhuman, they will become inhuman. This little girl lives with teacher and he raises her. The girls mother died, we think, but the girl thinks she is coming.

The girl goes out searching, this little child and sees some men from a village. They try and kill her because she is an outsider and must be cursed.

We are left with a huge cliff hanger at the end. Le sigh. The artwork is black and white and it's a manga so the story is read backwards which is so annoying. I keep wanting to read the correct way. It was a good story and it has potential to grown and be really interesting. I plan on giving the 2nd volume a try. It has a great tone and mood set for the read. There is the lightness of the girl and a moody tone of the world in general. It was good.
Profile Image for Arghoon.
239 reviews42 followers
September 1, 2023
زیاد اینور اونور دیدم که ازش تعریف بشه و مدتی توی لیست میخوام بخونم‌هام بود، تا اینکه یه ویدئو دیدم که می‌گفت:

"I'm on my knees, begging you to read this."

و اینجوری شدم که خب باشه همین الان میرم سراغش!
و... نمیدونم چه کلمه ای برای توصیفش پیدا کنم، یه دنیای تاریک ولی آروم، یه هیولای مهربون، یه دهکده زیبا ولی متروکه... خیلی متفاوت بود و حتما ادامه‌ش میدم.
و اینکه از راست به چپ بخونید :)
October 27, 2018
This was such a good read, I just didn't want it to end, but since then, I've discovered that this beautiful book, is part of a series. It takes rather a lot of skill to make a story seem so dark, but incredibly cute, at the same time.
I love the characters so far, and the relationship between the little girl and "teacher" is wonderful. Despite the fact teacher has a tall and somewhat slender form, that literally towers over the little girl, she seems to have no fear of him. She demands that they have tea parties together, even.
The black and white illustrations are gorgeous, and they really fit in well with the story. It is obvious such care has been taken here. I devoured this book rather quickly, so I thought I'd take advantage of that spare time, and order the next book in the series! I will probably come back to this again, at some point.
Profile Image for Neil R. Coulter.
1,090 reviews117 followers
July 20, 2018
I picked this up at the library yesterday on a whim, simply because the cover looked intriguing. I'm glad I did. It's a fantastic first part of a story. What I like about it especially is its slow, meticulous way of revealing information. The book seems to begin in the middle of a story. The author doesn't give quick, easy answers, but instead invites the reader to join the story and follow along. I always like it when a book has confidence in the reader's ability to understand and to share in the imagination of the storytelling.

The illustrations are calm, minimal, and atmospheric. They convey a sense of comfort, nostalgia, and compassion, but also a foreboding. There are elements here that remind me of some aspects of Pan's Labyrinth. All of it feels very much like a classic fairy tale, yet it isn't exactly a version of any specific fairy tale.

I can't wait to read the rest of the series--though in a way, I'll be sad to have all the questions answered. It's rather pleasant to read a story that isn't yet fully explained. I like the mystery.
Profile Image for Anna.
817 reviews553 followers
September 22, 2018
For an eerie fantasy manga that features as protagonists a sweet little girl and a mysterious “Teacher” as her guardian, with loads of cute moments between them, this can get dark and twisty unexpectedly quick!

I love, love, love the art style and the attention to detail that goes even into the smallest of panels. This will be one of my favourite manga series in 2018, that's for sure!
Profile Image for Timidalibreriadelriccio.
39 reviews563 followers
February 15, 2023
Questo è in assoluto il primo manga che abbia mai letto in tutta la mia vita e mi chiedo come mai abbia aspettato così tanto.

Che dirvi … mi sono sentito come risucchiato all’interno di un vortice scuro, nero, ma che in realtà ho percepito ricco di colori.

Contrasti, illusioni, atmosfere oniriche e sogni ad occhi aperti. Tutto questo è racchiuso nel primo volume di questa storia magnifica che rappresenta un vero e proprio viaggio metaforico attraverso i concetti di mostruosità e normalità, umano e cattivo.
E tutto viene descritto attraverso un occhio critico in grado di mettere in discussione ogni certezza stereotipata.

Non voglio svelare altro, ma vi invito davvero a prendere per mano la piccola Shiva e farvi guidare dal maestro.

Perché il buio non sempre fa paura.
Profile Image for Mangrii.
898 reviews264 followers
November 22, 2017
4,25 / 5

En este primer volumen de La pequeña forastera: Siúil, a Rún conoceremos a Shiva y el Doctor. La primera es una joven niña humana que espera el regreso de su tía. El segundo, una bestia que pertenece a un mundo oscuro y maldito. Ambos conviven en un páramo del Exterior, donde habitan seres oscuros que pueden maldecirte con solo tocarte. Un primer volumen que nos introduce en el misterioso mundo de fábula que ha construido Nagabe, un joven mangaka con su primera publicación internacional.

Un prologo para una historia de 4 volúmenes que sabe jugar muy bien con la intriga, soltando perlas de información de forma pausada. Una narración amable y tierna pero con un trasfondo misterioso que nos hace andar en cada viñeta esperando algo más. Poco se va desvelando en este primer volumen, pero el potente cliffhanger final deja al lector con unas ganas inmensas de ponerse a leer de inmediato el segundo volumen.

Si algo hay que destacar del volumen es el dibujo y diseños de Nagabe. Crea atmósferas inquietantes tan solo jugando con la dualidad de blancos y negros. Ademas el diseño de personajes es de lo más interesante, con una Shiva dulce y amable y esa bestia que en realidad no lo es tanto. Tengo ganas de descubrir que rumbo toma Nagabe en su historia.

Reseña más extensa en El peso del aire: http://www.elpesodelaire.com/2017/11/...
Profile Image for  The Black Geek.
60 reviews99 followers
February 1, 2019
The first volume of this interesting tale has themes that are already quite predictable: dark versus light, the cursed vs. innocent, human versus beast. The black, horned beast is the nurturing and patient caregiver yet is feared by the human adults. Shiva, the little girl, does not fear the beast and has readily accepted his role as both teacher and protector. Nagabe's art is reminiscent of the style found in the works of J.J. Grandeville and Kiyoshi Hasegawa.

I will read volume 2 in this series in order to see if Nagabe leans towards a predictable, linear theme of good versus evil, or will he further complicate this narrative with additional plot twists while fully exposing the complexities of the main characters and their motivations (known and hidden)?
Profile Image for Maija.
587 reviews165 followers
June 17, 2017
A heartwarming manga with dark tones, The Girl from the Other Side tells of the daily life of the little human girl Shiva and her caretaker, the monster/Outsider Teacher. The beautiful scratchy black-and-white artwork compliments the quiet story perfectly and is just lovely to look at.

I was instantly drawn to the two characters and the relationship between them: Teacher cares about her protégé, but can never touch her, or he will spread the Outsider curse and turn the girl into one. Basically, ow, my heart. The world is also interesting, with paranoid humans killing their own, afraid of the Outsider curse.

The blurb is spot on: "A tranquil fairy tale about those human and inhuman."
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,727 reviews865 followers
March 12, 2022
#2) The Girl from the Other Side, Vol. 2 ★★★★☆
#3) The Girl from the Other Side, Vol. 3 ★★★★☆
#4) The Girl from the Other Side, Vol. 4 ★★★★☆
#5) The Girl from the Other Side, Vol. 5 ★★★★☆
#6) The Girl from the Other Side, Vol. 6 ★★★★☆
#7) The Girl from the Other Side, Vol. 7 ★★★☆☆

Trigger warnings for .

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Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews345 followers
December 13, 2019
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Ankara C

Published by Seven Seas Entertainment, The Girl from the Other Side – Siúl a Rún by Nagabe is an ongoing series whose first volume was originally published back in 2015. However, it did not hit the international market until late 2017, when its popularity skyrocketed worldwide. At the moment, it has not been determined yet when the series will come to an end, but it is still going strong with its 7th volume translated into English, and there are still two more to be soon published in the international market. For the time being, and to pique your interest, here is our review on the first volume of the series. And do not fear, it is completely spoiler free, so that you can dive head first into Nagabe’s deliciously dark, fantasy world!

In a faraway land, a blonde, little girl lives with a demon in the middle of the forest. Known to her as Teacher, the dark horned figure that protects the child was subjected to a curse, which started to devastate population as a result of a war between two gods. The White God, angry at the destructive power of the Black God, decided to banish the latter, building a wall between them and thus dividing the world into two realms. The Inside is a kingdom protected by light, while the Outside was left for the monsters created by darkness to roam free. Shiva – the little girl — and her dark companion live in The Outside, scavenging for whatever food and supplies those who fled from that side of the world left behind. But what is a little girl doing alone in a cursed place? Why is the Doctor, a cursed monster, trying so hard to protect the wellbeing of a mere child? And who are the real monsters in this story: The people who inhabit the light or the darkness?

Heavily influenced by traditional folktales, The Girl from the Other Side is a gripping narration full of evocative images and sensations. When you first step into the story, an immediate feeling of nostalgia shakes you to the core. Who hasn’t wanted to go back to the time when we all enjoyed fairytales? Nagabe’s narration gives the reader the haunting, fantastic impression that is usually attributed to stories catering to children. Nonetheless, the author takes a further step and goes back to that medieval, European fairytale we all know and love: dark, twisted, and eerie.

Set in a fantasy world with no clear timeframe, the tale takes place in what appears to be a medieval village, but there is a twist to it: Nagabe also imbues the setting with a strong post-apocalyptic undertone, most likely due to the fact that the first contact the reader has with the story takes place in the Outside, where every human setting has been left to decay in its reigning darkness. At the same time, plenty of binary oppositions drive the overall development of the volume, as it typically does, not only in traditional narratives, but also in practically every single one of our traditional religions. In a previews interview, Nagabe has revealed that the driving force of The Girl from the Other Side is “gentleness”[1], but it is rather obvious that the opposition of light and darkness is a central piece of the tale too. At the same time, paying attention to good and evil, as well as innocence and cruelty, is also very much essential to understand the narration and the extent to which said gentleness can be represented. All these contrasting elements lead to the convergence of suffocating, crude moments and heartwarming scenes, intertwining in an engrossing dance of antagonising feelings. To sum up, Nagabe creates a rather colourful palette of shades of grey, resulting in the addition of another layer of meaning and intention to those typical fairytales the story takes after.

Not surprisingly, that rich variety of shades of grey can also be applied to the illustrations, which rely strongly on the opposition of black and white. Said contrast is taken to such a point that certain panels are almost completely black, especially when the author wants to highlight the gloomiest and most sinister facets of his universe. On the contrary, the most innocent and adorable exchanges between Shiva and the Teacher are mostly white. A brilliant use of polarisation, but also a rather risky decision, as certain panels are so dark that they can be hard to interpret. Continuing with the illustration, and despite the small downside of saturated contrasts, the volume is fairly easy to read, even to those who are not particularly familiarised with the characteristic structure of manga. In terms of its written body, and in addition to said structural simplicity, the text and illustrations are exquisitely balanced, making The Girl from the Other Side a quick, but utterly absorbing read. While the panels are straightforwardly organised and easy to follow so that the reader does not get lost, unfortunately, that is not always the case for the written content itself. If you are looking for a work that reveals every piece of information soon after the beginning of the story, this might not be the right series for you. Only one or two small yet central pieces of information are given to the reader in this initial tome, so expect to be left in a fairly intrigued, but confused state when you finish it.

Overall, The Girl from the Other Side is a haunting fairytale, with a gripping plot, complex characters and a dark, suffocating atmosphere. Bearing in mind that this is only the first of nine volumes —at least for the moment—, the volume might appear to be a little lacking in terms of content and plot. Fear not, dear reader, because this is what I would call a slowburn read: it will sneak into your heart and leave you waiting for more. There are still so many questions to be answered that you will not be able to stop yourself from buying the rest of the published tomes.
Profile Image for  Bon.
1,194 reviews116 followers
May 18, 2023
Really enjoyed the first volume of this eerie but sweet, gothic dystopian with the "monster protecting child" trope. The art was a little Edward Gorey, and the setting and aesthetics were very Ancient Magus Bride, both of which I like. And that cliffhanger - I need more.
Profile Image for Sara Bakhshi.
1,065 reviews206 followers
March 4, 2021
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