Book Review: For the Kid I Saw in My Dreams Volume 2

For the Kid in My Dreams Volume 2 cover

I hope that everyone is having a good week so far,
regardless of whether it is back to the daily grind or continuing to enjoy a
break.

Things are going pretty well over here, as I can still do
what I like.

During the month, I finally tried looking through things on
Amazon for more than just the usual titles, and I was able to get a few titles
that may be of interest, and two of them were from a series that I decided to
check out.

Today, I will be reviewing another one of those titles,
which is called For the Kid I Saw in My
Dreams Volume 2
by Kei Sanbe.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier
post
, I will not go over it again.

While Senri is preoccupied with finding the person who
killed his brother, the only family precious to him, his shady activities have
caught up to him, as a recent target reveals that he knows what Senri has been
doing for a while.

However, even with the setbacks, Senri is still determined
to find the man he is looking for, while continuing to worry the people who care
about his well-being, leading to him to experience something that he has not experienced
in quite a while.

Even the previous volume in the series was okay, that does
not mean that a manga series will be an absolute disaster, which is why I usually
try to read multiple volume, before making a judgement.

And after reading this, I have to say that I kind of liked
it, though still not quite to the extent that I would have liked.

From the moment that I opened up this book and start reading
a few pages, I found myself engrossed enough that I did not want to stop for
any reason.

As I have mentioned a countless number of times already, to
the point where this sounds tiring, even to me, one of the most important
things in a work of fiction is how things begin, because the beginning is
supposed to be the first step into helping give the audience the temporary
escape that they desire.

While this can be done in many ways, depending on the genre
and the medium used to present the work, this is published in a serial
publication, like most manga, and that means that things have to pick up at a point
that makes sense from the previous installment.

In the previous volume, Senri caught sight of the person
responsible for killing his twin brother and started looking for him, but after
finding a photo that made him start asking questions and losing said photo, he
finds his hangout trashed and was ambushed by people connected to a recent
target, which made me wonder if they were connected to the man Senri was after
and if they had been sent by that man, and in this volume, after a flashback
that felt a little needed, Senri wakes up in the presence of the people who
ambushed him.

By having things start off in this way, I am transported
easily back into the world of the series, and this time, with a sense that
something may be finally starting to happen, and it helped me to remember that
this series is not Boku Dake ga Inai Machi.

One of the big problems I had with the first volume in this
series was how the whole time I felt like this was just a poor rendition of Kei
Sanbe’s previous work, even up to the point where Senri found himself the
target of Itakura, who Senri targeted earlier in the volume, because it gave
the impression that Senri’s target for revenge is the same kind of person as
Yashiro was in Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, at least in the manga.

Now, having a guy as prepared as Gaku Yashiro is a great
villain to have in a work of thriller, which this series is starting to feel
like at the moment, seeing as there are no big questions than Senri, or even
the audience needs answered, like there was in Pandora Hearts, which is
why that could be considered a mystery series, as there were questions
concerning Oz’s true identity and what happened in Sablier, which persisted for
much of the series, but having a guy that is that far ahead in plans in a work
published after the conclusion of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi seems to be a
little on the dull side, especially if such a character appears this early.

However, in this volume, some of that diminished because
Itakura revealed that Senri was coning him from the very beginning and that his
modus operandi was well known among juvenile delinquents, as well as revealing
that he knew Senri was saving the money.

While this did kind of disappoint me, since it really broke
the flow of things, in trying to find out more about Senri’s true target and
getting to know more about why Kazuto, Senri’s deceased brother, was so
important to him him, it was still kind of interesting, though rather
predictable, to see Senri have troubles outside of those involving his current
goal of finding the person who killed his brother, and helped to start the
series on a path that may finally give this series that vibe of originality
that it so desperately needs.

If Kei Sanbe had written the first chapter of this volume in
a way that continued to give me the feelings that I had while reading the first
volume, I would have been greatly disappointed, even though I might have gotten
a beginning that I would have liked more, because it would not have allowed
these new characters to come into being as their own people, which is something
many, but certainly not all, works of fiction where I live have a problem with,
thus preventing me of thinking of the characters as different people, though
people getting acquainted with Kei Sanbe through this series would not have
that issue.

Fortunately, Kei Sanbe started to give a different feel in
the first chapter of this volume, I feel like giving Kei Sanbe a good round of
applause for trying to start differentiating this series from his previous
work.

Hopefully, things will continue looking up for this series
as it progresses, because I am sure Kei Sanbe’s fans would like to see him do
well, especially because Boku Dake ga Inai Machi had put him on the map,
but I still kind of expect this series to lose steam way before Boku Dake ga
Inai Machi
did, since I remember liking that series for the whole run of
its manga, whereas this series started off without really registering anything.

I also liked was how things were a little more fleshed in
this volume.

According to the official summary of the first volume,
Kazuto meant the world to Senri and I could kind of get an understanding of
that from the narration, but I never really understood their bond because
Kazuto was only shown when I got flashback to moments where Kazuto was trying
to protect Senri from their abusive father, which first demonstrated their
ability to share experiences to the reader, and moments before he went missing.

Now, people familiar with writing will likely say that there
are exceptions to the rule many were beaten to remember when I was in school,
which was to show and not tell, but those rules or guidelines exist for a
reason too, because there will be thing the audience will never understand
unless, as noted in a guest
post
from Joshua Henkin on The
Writer’s Digest
talking about the necessity of breaking that rule.

In case like this, where the bond between characters and the
loss that special person is a motivating factor for what the protagonist is
doing, seeing that bond for myself and how they meant the world to each other
would have really helped me to understand what Senri was going through and
helped to flesh out why he wanted to kill the man responsible for Kazuto’s
death, beyond knowing that almost everyone would feel the same thing when they
find out a loved one was killed by somebody.

However, I was made to feel like I had to put myself in
Senri’s shoes, before I really got to know him and his situation, which I noted
the weakness of in my review of Sacrifices and
linked to a post that explains why doing such a thing is flawed, though I did
note in my review of volume 69
of Detective Conan that doing such a thing was said to be responsible
for the rules and laws we have now in our society.

Yes, that was the first volume, and the next installment
should flesh things out more, if done correctly, but that still does not change
the fact that the bond between Senri and Kazuto should have been better
demonstrated in the previous volume, even if it was fragments of memory being
shown between the time Senri blacked out and when he regained consciousness.

In this volume, however, I see Senri and Kazuto having fun
together outside the house, living a normal life, except for having to live
through hearing their father abuse their mother and sharing each other’s pains
and experiences from ther other’s perspective, which helps me see how Kazuto’s
death could affect him so much.

Other than lacking that necessary vibe of originality, this
was something that really felt missing to me in the first volume, which kept me
from really feeling invested in it, and I am happy to see that Kei Sanbe
remembered that the audience needs to understand things from Senri’s
perspective, instead of letting the audience think that they understand things
from his perspective, when it is still their own.

If Kei Sanbe had not begun to show what life was like for
the twin brothers, beyond the horrible life in their home, I would have been
disappointed enough that I would not even consider preordering the next volume,
which is said to come out here in November, according to the product page on Amazon, because two
volumes would seem like too long of a time to not start fleshing out the bond
that caused Senri to seek revenge, and I would still have issues really
connecting with Senri, the protagonist of this series.

Thankfully, Kei Sanbe did not do anymore damage to this
series than he already has, which makes me want to give him a nice round of
applause for remembering that that early volumes are supposed to flesh things
out.

Hopefully, things will continue to improve from here,
because there is still time for the series to come into its own and give
readers an incentive to see the story Kei Sanbe is trying to tell, but I still
have my doubts as to whether I will be able to call this a great series.

The thing that I liked the most though was how the volume
ended.

Other than the beginning, the other important aspect of a
work of fiction is how it ends, as the ending’s purpose is to either make the
audience feel satisfied, if it is a standalone or the final installment in a
series, or to give the audience an incentive to continue on with a work, if it
is an installment in a series.

While I am not really fond of the ending, much like how the
first volume ended, it was better than how the previous volume ended because
there seems to be something more there that is grabbing my attention than the
tension I experienced while reading the last few panels of the first volume,
and my interest is piqued even when I am just glancing through the panels of
this book.

If I had to say why, things felt so different from the first
volume, it would probably have to be because it seemed like things actually
began in this volume.

Even though the story actually began in the previous volume,
it did not feel like anything was there and that Kei Sanbe was milking his cash
cow, rather than giving the audience a new story, and something that just
turned out to be something to be expected from the life Senri lives was made to
feel more important than it was.

Here, however, I got the feeling that I had only finished
the first installment and wanted to see where this was going.

If Kei Sanbe and Kadokawa Shoten, or whoever they had put
this volume together, had ended the first volume like this, this new series would
have already been off to a good start, like I had hope it would, and the second
volume would have been able to build upon that.

Sadly, that kind of feeling only came in this volume, which
is the volume that is supposed to make people more interested in checking out
the series, rather than igniting the initial spark, so I can only give Kei
Sanbe a barely passing grade here.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to end even better
than this, as I want to be excited to read the next installment, not believe
that I am going to be reading volume 2 when volume 3 is the next to come out,
but seeing as this series did not start in the best way possible, I will not be
surprised if volume 4 ends up feeling like it is actually volume 3.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least could stand out as much as what I already
mentioned.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up
until the end, while finally be reminded that this is a new series, the bond between
Kazuto and Senri was fleshed out a little more, and the ending was better than
the first volume, though it more felt like the end of volume 1 of a series,
this was a pretty decent read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, and things that can be overlooked because I am still in the
early portion of a new series, only one thing really bothered, which was how unnecessary
the special twin connection that Kazuto and Senri have felt.

Now, some of you guys are probably going to be complaining, saying
that there may be an explanation for it later on, so I should ignore it for
now, but this is not really something that I can ignore entirely.

One of the big complaints I have noticed people make about Boku
Dake ga Inai Machi
was how Satoru Fujinuma’s revival felt more like
something to move the plot along, which I can definitely see in both the anime
adaptation from A-1 Pictures and the Netflix adaptation, which was better than
the Neflix’s adaptation of Death Note, but in that series, there were
hints that Satoru’s revival had something to do with his regrets about not
being able to save Kayo and Yuki, ultimately suggesting he wanted to do things
over, since the revivals stopped after Satoru had cornered Yashiro in the past.

However, in this series, after Senri said that he experienced
both the pain and actual events that Kazuto experienced, from Kazuto’s
perspective, right up until Kazuto supposedly died and we never saw it happen
in the present, Senri hit a dead end and really needed some clues, he started
experiencing the same sensation he had before Kazuto disappeared and he saw
visions of being in a place he had recently visited.

While it does excite me right now, as much as it did Senri,
though not for the same reasons, it seemed to feel really out of place with how
things had been flowing so far, where the shared visions and sensations were no
longer a thing for Senri, it seemed to say that Senri needed to return to
Momomiya to get more clues, while Senri felt happiness that his beloved brother
might not be dead after all.

If this is a hint that the person Senri seeks to kill might
be his own brother, I think I would be able to accept the reoccurrence of Senri’s
shared vision, and it will offer an interesting story, but for now, it just
feels like a gimmick to get things moving, which is making me feel a little
disappointed.

Hopefully, the shared vision will have some significance to
Senri himself, beyond something believed to exist between twin, yet cannot be
explained, or have some real importance to the series, because I am starting to
feel like I want to give this series a chance, though I probably will not
decide if this series is worth following until the third volume, but because
the first volume did not really impress me, and was the one that initially made
me think this shared vision stuff is only being used to move things along, I
have my doubts as to whether it will become anything more than it is.

Still, with how irrelevant and unnecessary this shared
vision seemed to be in the first two volumes, I am feeling a little
disappointed enough to mark this as an annoyance.

Fortunately, this was the only real problem I had with this
volume, so Kei Sanbe and those that are working hard to bring this series to
the masses can walk away knowing that they did not completely and utterly fail.

While there was only one thing that was truly bothersome to
me, it was not bad enough to really do any major damage, at least for now.

Despite the fact that there was something that annoyed me
enough to complain about, the good outweighed it enough that this was
definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of Kei Sanbe and For the
Kid I Saw in My Dreams
, as they will be able to enjoy this the most.

As for everyone, this might be more worth the time to check
out than its predecessor, but I still think it would be best to read the
previous volume first, to understand what was is going on and to be able to
really enjoy this.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patreon or SubscribeStar, or, if you want
a copy of the reviewed title, buy
For the Kid I Saw in My Dreams Volume 2
from Book Depository, who
offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can find
more worthwhile reads for you guys to check out.

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