Faeries' Landing

Review covers all of the volumes released so far

From the description on the cover, I was worried that Faeries' Landing might be more mindless Harem rubbish. (FYI I'm not a fan of bog standard Harem material.) Thankfully Faeries' Landing is not Harem. I've no idea what it is, though. It manages to be original enough to avoid easy classification.

Faeries' Landing stars Fanta, a faerie who deliberately gets herself stuck on Earth (or more specifically, a slightly Americanised-in-translation Korea). Her stated reason for doing this is to help out Ryang, a teenager who has been cursed to have 108 doomed relationships. However she also has a hidden motivation, which along with much of the plot in Faeries' Landing is merely hinted at in the beginning, and won't be revealed until much later.

Faeries' Landing strikes me as some kind of a weird experiment, or possibly an author just wanted to try out a few different genres in the same series. The story starts out in a similar fashion to Oh My Goddess! and Oh My Goddess! stays a strong influence throughout.

However the Manga can't decide what it wants to be. It switches between college social life, comedy, action, intrigue, romance, historical and fantasy inconsistently. And I'm having severe trouble working out if that's a good or a bad thing.

On the plus side, the repeated switching keeps the series quite fresh. Thankfully Faeries' Landing is good at most of the genres it turns its hands to, and is also quite good at chopping away the genres that don't end up working.

But there are several downsides to this. All of the genre-changing means that the author quite often pulls various pseudo-science explanations out of thin air to justify what's happening. The timing of the switches can also be very bad, as the reader can be engrossed in the current storyline when – genre switch! - the focus and feel of the comic move elsewhere, leaving the previous storyline hanging for months before it is resolved. Faeries' Landing seems to have a serious problem about staying on topic.

Faeries' Landing really does get its characters right. Readers of the quick summary on the back of the book will probably reach the same initial impression as me, and think that Faeries' Landing is just an Oh My Goddess!-clone; after all, the roles the characters initially play in the story are very similar. However even at the start, the series manages to be interesting and it's unique characters shine through.

Pretty much most of the plot is character driven. Faeries' Landing relies on random events to trigger story-lines far less than most other Manga, purely because it doesn't need them; the characters are creating events and driving the plot forward on their own.

With so many genres in one series, there always was going to be highs and lows in the series depending on what's currently in the spotlight. I can't tell if it's just my personal preference, but I really hated the plot-lines when the Manga tried to cover college social life. But then again I really enjoyed the fantasy world sections and the fantasy world's politics.

If you are prepared to have a bit of patience with the series, I'd recommend taking a look at Faeries' Landing. While it's not consistent in quality, the good bits are worth hanging on for.