Kieli: The Sunlight Garden Where It All Began, pt. 1

Story: YUKAKO KABEI YOU DEVIL WOMAN. As usual, it’s easiest to just quote the author’s afterword. “A story about a girl with a complicated personality and a man with a tiresome personality, getting together and being separated.” That is Kieli as a whole. Since the two were just reuited, they don’t split in this one. The next one… well we can probably make a very educated guess about what’s going to happen. Though in a way I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say ‘current’-Harvey and Kieli have been seperated. I don’t want to outright ruin the end of this volume since it was a sort of twist that’s already happened once but now on a greater scale since ghost/out-of-body Kieli is visiting the young undying whom she has been told very little about. I like how we’re progressing into serious plot. For awhile it’s been building up to it and we’re still a long way from any real development or conflict that will solve anything and, in the storyverse, I think it may take a few more years before we do. The next volume should hold a lot of events taking place in the past which doesn’t sound that exciting but was set up nicely by the end of this novel which also providing a little growth for Kieli’s character (even though I think it was a lesson she’s already learned once).

Characters: Tiresome man, complicated girl. It didn’t seem like they interacted that much here. They did, but most of Kieli’s important scenes were spent with other characters. Joachim returns which was a bit surprising but not entirely since he is an undying. The whole core buisness is interesting though and I think it will factor in making Harvey more human. Joachim is in a sorry state and is not so different from the monster in the last book. There is also a character-of-the-week who is ne of the ‘monsters’. They’re actually really just zombies. Which makes an interesting divide between what Harvey is, an Undying, and what Christoph and Joachim now are.  Julius has a random chapter pushed into the middle of the book that doesn’t even involve Kieli or Harvey. It probably is to show us that he’s going to play a big part later on so we shouldn’t forget about him. Corporal got some attention and had the spotlight for awhile at the beginning. Character development for the radio and Harvey? Very nicely done.

Art: I actually have some complaints about the art this time. It’s still consistently… good. But I’ve noticed that the art, especially in this book, has been taking the safe route. It would have been interesting to see an actual image of Christoph or defective-core Joachim (it’s hard for me to imagine someone’s skin as being ‘pulpy’). Maybe it’s specifically meant to be left up to the imagination but it still feels like a cop out (though you do see a bit of Christoph’s skin in one image so it gives you a little image of what to expect). On a side note, Yukako Kabei has won several points for her request of the artist and saying, “Kieli’s shorts would be cuter if they were a little shorter. i’m sorry I started ranting broken things like ‘Bare shins!’ and ‘Glorious legs!’ and ‘Clavicles!’ and I’ll stop now before people start to question my personality”.

Overall: Satisfying book with a frustrating end if you are, like me, now waiting another six months to see what happens. If you are, years down the road, reading the series from start to finish then perhaps a bit less for you. There are four more volumes left so things should really get rolling and prepare you as Kabei starts wrapping up the series.

Story: 7/10 (author says we are now “100% backwards looking” in terms of the story. She means that both figuratively and literally)
Characters: 8/10 (Harvey and Kieli have some cute moments together, but seem generally cold to each other, Corporal gets development, and Joachim returns? Everyone was busy and it worked)
Art: 6/10 (fine as usual, scenes chosen are just pretty boring)

Fang’s Rating: 8/10


15 Comments

  • Kason

    October 19, 2011

    Hey there. I’ve been considering the interlude in the book, the part where the stories goes over to what Julius is doing. At one point, Julius points out that the man he and his father passed in the hall had no family, and if he had a child then they would be about Julius’ age, and maybe they could relate with him. In my opinion, IT IS TOTALLY INSINUATING THAT THAT MAN IS KIELI’S FATHER. That’s all I wanted to say :) Tell me what you think!

  • Fang-tan

    October 20, 2011

    I’ll have to reread that section again (my copy is packed up) but that’s an interesting theory! It would make sense why he felt the need to specifically point it out and why Julius got his own little part. I’ve been kind of thinking Jude was secretly her father this whole time even though it seemed like it explicitly stated that he was not and could not be but your idea makes a lot more sense!

  • Kason

    October 20, 2011

    Yes! I really can’t imagine any other reason for bringing that man into it–and I keep thinking they have to reveal who Kieli’s father is eventually, since the question of who Kieli’s father is is brought up in book 4 by Beatrix. It’s quite the twist though–Kieli’s father being a very important figure in the church. Wouldn’t that mean that Kieli is even more of a ‘princess’ than Julius is a ‘Prince’? Haha how ironic! Anyways, I guess we can only see how this plays out in the future books to see if I’m right…but it doesn’t look like it’ll be addressed in volume 6. I’m so excited!! Only 166 more days till it comes out!!! I say ‘only,’ but…hahaha!

  • Fang-tan

    October 20, 2011

    I think I have seen some pictures from later novels of older Kieli wearing something akin to church attire so the theory makes even more sense! (I hope that didn’t come off as spoilery) Ahhh! But you’re right, I doubt they’ll address it in six so we’ll still have to wait awhile to see if you’re right.

    Haha 166, eh? It’s nice to see someone else as enthused and anxious as I am then. The wait is always unbearable but the books are so worth it.

  • Kason

    October 22, 2011

    Hahaha! I actually have the scans for all of the novels in Japanese! I’ve seen those pictures, so no spoilery-ness! Yes enthused is an understatement though–I actually had a dream last night that I was reading the beginning of the 6th novel, and then I turned the page and the book was over! I guess my subconscious is telling me that they’re too short for this kind of wait!!! There aren’t a lot of fans though. I was lucky enough to find your review of the latest book here–I didn’t think anyone was keeping up with this series like I am anymore! I’m glad at least someone sees that the books are worth the wait, even if they’re ridiculously short T_T

  • Fang-tan

    October 25, 2011

    I’m too chicken to look at the scans for all the books. Kieli is the one thing I don’t want to ruin for myself somehow with spoilers.

    I actually won the first copy from Yen Press and if it hadn’t been for that, I probably would have never started reading them. So I’m thankful that they did that but also that they continue to publish this series despite, like you said, there not being many fans. I can’t imagine the sales are that good. We are lucky though that they keep to their schedule of releasing the books. Not like Tokyopop and the whole Gosick fiasco.

  • Kason

    October 27, 2011

    Ah! I understand. But if it helps to say, the pictures actually don’t give away much–if anything they just make your more confused about what happens in the next book. It’s like, all the pictures are facial expression, like surprised or scared or something. That’s except for the last book though, there’s a spoilery pic there. Anyways, I wanted to know you’re opinion on what was going on in that other world Kieli went to in this book–I really don’t get it, I was thinking that maybe since Undying don’t have souls, that that’s where they are? Their souls just aren’t in their bodies, but they still exist elsewhere? I can’t imagine the author’d pull a ‘time portal’ thing. I know the world’s a picture of the past, but what exactly is it, and why can’t current Harvey enter? Since there’s really no such thing as a Kieli discussion forum, your opinion is the only one I have!!

  • Fang-tan

    November 4, 2011

    I was confused about the end. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s seen the past/someones memories though so I just assumed it was something along those lines except in this case she’s actually interacting with what she’s seeing. I’m kind of hoping it’s not some time jumping action and she’ll wake up and it’ll be like any other time she’s witnessed the past like I suspected but I don’t know. I think it’s limited to her though since she was out of her body and Harvey or someone’s going to find her body. After originally finishing the last book, I thought maybe Bearfoot’s out of body experiences might have been foreshadowing and Kieli herself might have such an ability but I highly doubt that now.

  • Kason

    November 6, 2011

    No, I don’t think that idea’s entirely off–Bearfoot’s ability to leave his body stemmed from when he took a fall, right? And suddenly he unlocked the ability to leave his body. Isn’t that kinda what’s happened to Kieli at this point? What I noticed was something I found kind of interesting though–although it could mean nothing. Remember in the third book when Harvey accidentally pushed Kieli down the stairs? She just fell unconscious right? Well when she fell down the stairs this time, her soul was sucked out of her body–isn’t that they way Harvey described the feeling when he tried to get into the park? And if I’m right, Bearfoot was in the park when his soul left his body as well. Maybe it’s something about the park, but it could be coincidence. Yeah, I thought it was weird that Kieli could interact with the things and people she was seeing. That’s why this part’s so weird to me, because I can’t imagine the author having a time portal of some sort that allows Kieli to affect the past. And what you’re talking about is Kieli remembering the pasts of the dead–but that would only apply if the people in this world had died in that place, and we know that’s not true if Ephraim and Joachim are that young–they died when they were twenty for the first time, right? Oh well. I’m just wondering, since the staircase and exit all seemed to disappear (not to mention her real body), if she’ll be able to leave on her own.

  • Fang-tan

    November 10, 2011

    If it all happening in the park is a coincidence I might be annoyed since that DOES make the most sense. You make a good point about Joachim and Ephraim not dying there but at the that time, Elisha died too so it isn’t as if nobody died at all. (Once again, a rereading might be in order because I was under the impression that Kieli ended up in the same place from the beginning of the book) I did look back to the intro and thought it was weird Ephraim specifically was talking about deja vu. But since it could be a dream for Kieli and not him, I couldn’t really work out how Kieli entering and leaving the place where they are would affect that.

  • brit

    November 21, 2011

    You both have great predictions! I actually loved the way volume 5 ended, her following a young harvey into the abandoned school. I believe this isnnt exactly a timeskip, but how to put it…like an out of body expierance maybe a little of both (kinda like what happened in the abandoned mine in volume1) I know next volume will awnser alot of questions with harvey, maybe even the clouded mystery of jude.

    p.s would anybody know where to find a (light) summary of volume 7?

  • Kason

    December 1, 2011

    Well, there’s a summary oh both Amazon and Barnes and noble site. When I say summary, I mean what will be written on the back of the book. I could post what it says here, but to be safe I’ll just post the link so that it doesn’t give anything away to people who haven’t read this far yet.

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dead-sleep-in-the-wilderness-yukako-kabei/1107766633?ean=9780759529342&itm=1&usri=kieli+vol+6

    There, the summary should be there :)

  • Kason

    December 1, 2011

    Oh! Darn, book 7. That’s book 6’s summary. There’s probably nothing on book 7 translated to English yet. I know where you can download all of the Japanese volumes if you wanted to look at the pictures, but as for the descriptions I’ve got no clue, and have been looking for the same thing. D:

  • A Ninja

    April 16, 2012

    Tee hee! Am I happy to find out I’m not the only one following this book series so loyally!
    I’ve been trying to look at the Japanese Kieli scans out of curiousity… so if somebody could find a Japanese translator to give us a rough idea of a few things… even if it’s just the text accompanying the images translated…

  • Kason

    April 30, 2012

    Hmm, I can’t read Japanese although I have seen the scans. However, I know someone who can, although if that person will tell you anything is up to them…they don’t give too many spoilers from what I’ve seen. Here’s the link to their tumblr. http://undying-kieli.tumblr.com/

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