My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published August 31st 2018
Falling victim to the curse is a fate worse than death
Nagabe. Seven Seas Entertainment.
In volume 3 of the Girl from the Other Side Shiva goes to live with Auntie. Shiva thought she would be happy to be back home with Auntie, but leaving Teacher behind in the Outside felt wrong and there was something weird about the situation she was returning to on the Inside. Why was Auntie's house so dusty? And why were all her flowers dead? And how come Auntie left her alone on the Outside for so long?
Auntie asks Shiva if she'd ever been touched while on the Outside. Shiva had been touched by an Outsider, but she chooses to lie and tell her no. Her decision has horrifying consequences: Auntie gets cursed and turns into a monster and the Inside gets plunged into chaos forcing Shiva to flee. Shiva escapes back to the Outside and is reunited with Teacher, but before the two can leave another person arrives…
It is the monster who used to be Auntie. She is still dressed in Auntie's clothes but doesn't look like an old woman anymore. She has black skin, curved goat horns and a large, snapping jaw. She is an Outsider now. Auntie knows she can never return to the Inside, but she still has memories of her old life and because of that she is determined not to lose Shiva again.
In volume 4 of the Girl from the Other Side, Auntie has moved in with Teacher and Shiva and is living with them in their house in the Outside. It is a tense situation. Shiva is frightened by Auntie's new appearance and struggling with shock and guilt, Teacher doesn't trust Auntie around Shiva and has questions about her motivations, and Auntie is hiding a lot of secrets.
One scene that stood out to me was when Auntie speaks to Shiva through a door and tells her not to be afraid. Shiva opens the door and tearfully tells her that she lied about being touched, but she only did it because she was afraid if she told the truth she wouldn't be allowed to stay with Auntie anymore. After being away from Auntie for so long, all she wanted was to be able to spend some time with her again and to feel her arms wrap around her in a hug. After listening to her confession, Auntie throws a blanket over her and pulls Shiva into a hug, causing little Shiva to remember how it felt to hug her before she was cursed, with her hand on her head and her face buried in her blouse. Her hugs are different now, but she's still the same old Auntie…right?
Auntie, Teacher and Shiva form an interesting family dynamic in volume 4. Shiva is desperate for some normality and tries her best to pretend nothing has changed and that her Auntie is still the same person on the inside. Teacher is happy to have Shiva home again, but feels jealous of the bond that exists between her and her aunt and starts to question if she still needs him. We learn some interesting things about the curse and how it affects people in this book. Auntie is desperate for her life to go back to how it was before, but learns that might not be possible. The curse doesn't just transform you physically, she finds out. It changes you in other cruel ways as well.
I cannot recommend the Girl from the Other Side enough. The characters are fascinating, the artwork beautiful and the story will hook you and pull you in. The fifth volume of the Girl from the Other Side releases in September 2018.
Why? After the terrifying events that happened in volume three, Shiva has fled the Inside and reunited with Teacher on the Outside. As Shiva struggles with her guilt over getting her Auntie cursed, her former guardian struggles to adapt to her new life