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From the Archive: Land of the Blindfolded – Sakura Tsukuba

Mangaka Sakura Tsukuba has had two works published in the states, most recently Penguin Revolution, but before that came Land of the Blindfolded. Land of the Blindfolded was initially serialized in LaLa DX magazine from 1998-2004. This fantasy shojo manga tells the story of three protagonists who each have the ability to see a part of time, whether it be the past or the future.



The Gist: Kanade Otsuka, a cheerful and kind girl, describes her ability to see the future by relating it to wearing a blindfold that slips every once in a while, allowing her to accidentally see what might be. In high school she meets Arou Naitou, a quiet and talented boy who has the ability to see the past. His ability was once like Kanade’s, but through an experience he had, he now sees the past of whatever he touches. Masahiro Namiki, who can see the future at will, is the friend and rival of Arou, vying for Kanade’s attention even though he knows the two are a couple. Arou experiences distrust and manipulation from classmates that discover his ability. His sadness and depression are only lifted by Kanade, who understands his feelings and supports him. As Arou delves into his past, Kanade and Namiki are there to bring him back to a happy present.


L to R: Arou, Kanade, and Namiki

L to R: Arou, Kanade, and Namiki





The Characters/Romance: A simple yet creative story that explores the “what ifs” of the past and present, Land of the Blindfolded has very likable characters that experience the burdens of knowing more than others. The story moves at a leisurely pace which, depending on your attention span, may hinder your ability to retain interest. Despite that, the author has a talent for developing her characters through interactions and flashbacks. The relationship between Arou and Kanade is very sweet and devoted. Namiki starts out as Arou’s rival seeking Kanade’s attention and affection. Arou, however, is not the possessive type, and Namiki eventually forms a friendship with the two. He becomes allies with Arou and finds another love interest towards the end of the series.


Sweet moment between Arou and Kanade.





The Art: Tsukuba’s designs are simple like her story. The toning is typical shojo style. More attention to detail is put into the characters than the background or anything else, which is what is emphasized in her story anyway.



The Audience: Cuddly – this series is filled with little moments between Arou and Kanade. Since Arou can see the past with just touching, a stroke on the face can become an intimate moment. Innocent kisses and cuddling are all that’s needed to communicate the depth of feelings the couple has for one another. This series would be very appropriate for teens and tweens.



The Media: Land of the Blindfolded was published in 9 volumes by CMX in the states.

Heart of Manga Rating: ♥♥♥♥ Highly Recommend.

A touching story with a little bit of magic that leaves the reader happy in the end.

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Laura

Author/Editor
Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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