Book of the Month - April 2007

The Time Guardian

Volume 1

SCREEN

I’m sure that once or twice in your life, you’ve wished you had more time to do something—whether it be for a homework assignment or to tack just one more day onto your weekend to sleep in. But what if there was a shop that traded in time, where you could turn memories from your life into extra segments of time that you could use whenever you wanted?

The Kusaka Time Shop is one such outlet, and its proprietor, Tokiya Kusaka, gives those who find his shop the chance to buy time. However, the focus of the story isn’t the shop. It’s Miu Asahina, a sorta klutzy, kinda average teenage girl who never seems to have enough time. She’s your typical manga heroine who stumbles upon the store’s hidden location by accident (or was it?), and through an even more amazing coincidence, she’s able to activate one of the shop’s special watches—the Go-Between’s Timepiece.
Because of her amazing powers, Kusaka offers young Miu a job at the shop helping him and his assistant-frog Ginzo keep track of their clients, making sure everything runs smoothly. It’s a tall order for a girl that, under normal circumstances, can’t keep track of time to save her life. There are rules to each transaction, though—payment comes in the form of taking time from shoppers, be it their most precious memories or blocks of time later on.

Customers in this first volume include a brainiac classmate that has a hidden reason for needing more time, an idol singer/actress that desperately needs some space in her busy schedule to make a trip back home to see her father, and a sickly young girl who needs time in order to keep a promise she made six months ago to a boy she met in the hospital. Each story has its own touching twist, especially that of the lady who requests more time in order to go on a date. This is Miu’s first experience with time-bending, and instead of just being an observer, she gets actively involved. While Kusaka sees his services as a business, Miu would rather do things to help those in need, and their personalities sometimes clash (though Miu wins more often than she loses).

Miu’s starting wage is a paltry extra second a day, but surely that’ll eventually add up to something the always-behind-schedule gal can actually use (Kusaka’s already hinting at a raise in this volume!). The Time Guardian’s beauty is in its simplicity—the base concept may take some figuring out, but you’ll do it along with Miu, and by the end you’ll be glad you spent some of your own time giving it a read.

—Chris Johnston

The other Time Guardian

We thought the title of this one sounded a bit familiar. Turns out our superpowers to spot ’80s schlock sci-fi movie titles is still working. The Time Guardian, the film, is a 1987 sci-fi flick where a city that can jump through time travels back to the late-‘80s Australian outback to fight a race of beastly aliens threatening humanity in the future. If it sounds far-fetched, that’s because it is. And not terribly good. Trust us, you’re better off with the completely unrelated Time Guardian manga.

COVER

  • Available: March 2007
  • Publisher: CMX
  • Rating: Everyone
© 2005 TAMAO ICHINOSE, DAIMURO KISHI/AKITASHOTEN.

Current Issue

August 2007

COVER ART

Code Geass

The suspense is slowly building, the action is on the brink of climax and a new era of mecha is patiently waiting to emerge. Too bad we can’t broadcast imminent-danger-type music while you read this.

Continue reading