With Ryutaro keeping out of her way for the summer, Nami has plenty of times to reflect on her feelings for her- and despite his brusque attitude towards her, she just can’t help but stop thinking about him. In the meantime, however, there are plenty of summer activities with Nami’s other friends to keep her occupied- at least until an awkward moment when she learns that one of them harbours feelings for her that run deeper than mere friendship.
After greatly enjoying the first volume of this series, I was understandably looking forward to seeing what the second had to bring- with the bonus that there were at least three more books to come after this one. As it turned out, however, whilst Spellbound’s second instalment was indeed worthy, somewhere along the line it had morphed from magic and slice-of-life to a more straightforward romance.
Indeed, in many ways this is the typical ‘summer vacation’ phase of such stories; in the wake of their separation, the lead realises her feelings for the main love interest, whilst he is busy coping with the usual difficult family situation and emotional baggage from past events. The supporting characters are also pretty by the book at this stage, from the good-natured young man with feelings for the lead, the jealous girl with unrequited feelings for him and various other friends and family members. Thanks to all this, whilst Spellbound is still an enjoyable experience, it largely lacks the uniqueness of earlier instalments in the Someday’s Dreamers franchise, instead opting for the textbook romantic approach we’ve all seen before.
That being said, there are still a few magical moments worth looking out for, as Nami struggles with her ability, and starts to understand what it takes to make your magic work correctly. No matter how by-the-book the main character interactions become, it’s scenes like these where the original charm and lure of Someday’s Dreamers once again shines through.
Even though I must include it for completion, I really don’t have much to add about the artwork- it’s as excellent as ever, and long may it remain so.
After such a strong start, Spellbound volume 2 has left me feeling somewhat ambivalent- it’s certainly taken a solid enough romantic angle, but in turn the unique magical feel seems reduced. Nonetheless, with a lot more still to come in this series, there is plenty of room for Spellbound to forge its own distinctive identity.