The TarotCafé

The TarotCafé (Vol 1)
Reviewed by Tabitha Chamberlain


By Sang-Sun Park

Publisher: Tokyopop
Price: Varies
Pages 179

This is an older series of seven manga books. Something I didn’t realize when I ordered it. Manga a graphic novel or comic book like style, if you're unfamiliar. This is a creation of fiction centered around a clairvoyant named Pamela, who relies on tarot cards to help center her visions for her clients.

The books are short stories, which a client comes to see Pamela looking for a vision of a better future. Or how to overcome a problem they are having. In Volume One we meet the "Wish-Fulfilling Cat", a black cat-man who finds a beautiful young girl, he grants her wishes at a great cost to himself. "Eternal Beauty" a vampire takes us on a journey of past and present lives merging together as one. "A Fairy" teaches a rather funny lesson on being careful of what you wish for. The ending short story is a cliff-hanger; "A Heartless Princess, an Alchemist, and the Jester (Part 1)", which I promise isn't the making of a bad bar joke. It does, unfortunately, makes you wonder what comes next and probably have you end up buying Volume 2.

The stories themselves while short are well constructed to read smoothly. Those that aren't familiar with this style of writing may take a bit to find their rhythm when reading. The artwork is beautifully done. The style is typical Japanese Manga style of very feminine looking characters, incredibly well-done shadow play as the entire book is black and white images. The frames that have more actions going on where you see how talented she is as an artist. A personal favorite is her use of flowers, particularly roses throughout the book.

There is a wide variety of tarot in the book. You will see several different ones or styles of them throughout the book. She also highlights and footnotes cards that are within the stories tarot readings for those not familiar with tarot.

I have a feeling if this went through a reprint there would be a great deal more interest in this particular series now. If you look you can find several different places to buy a used copy if you're interested in reading them.  

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