Most shoujo fans are familiar with Fruits Basket, Natsuki Takaya’s most well known title in America. Curious I decided to take a look at some of her earliest work. Phantom Dream is Takaya’s first series that ran in Hana to Yume Planet Zoukan magazine from 1994-1997. A supernatural romance with well developed characters, Phantom Dream reveals Takaya’s budding ability to write a plot twisting romance in a few short volumes.
The Gist: Tamaki Otoya is the last in a line of ancient summoners known as shugoshi. A second year in high school, he has inherited the ability to create defensive shields and summon a shieki and a gohou, spiritual entities that aid in protection. When an ancient rival is reborn, his powers must be utilized to save the local population from jaki, demons that overtake human souls filling them with negative energy. Struggling to deal with this responsibility he relies on his childhood friend Asahi for love and support. Yet Asahi has her own role to play, and leaves Tamaki’s side. Determined, the powers of ancient Hira threaten to destroy all of humanity, and it will take all of Tamaki’s faith, empathy, and forgiveness if he is to save mankind from total annihilation and find Asahi.
Fans of Fruits Basket should check it out. It’s highly entertaining for just a few volumes.