Rakan, a high school student with a wildly blooming garden in his yard, is taking care of his plants when a man crashes to the ground, seemingly out of nowhere. And when the man stands, raising…A gun that looks like a tree branch? Turns out, the gun is a tree branch and the man, Chigusa, fell through a portal from another world, a world in which he was trying to assassinate the Imperial Prince…Who looks exactly like Rakan.
Close on Chigusa’s heels are Narushige, a beautiful man constantly mistaken for a woman, and Koh, a talking snake. Good times ensue – what, with Koh trying to destroy every piece of technology that makes a noise, like the alarm clock – and an abiding friendship forms. All is well until a man arrives, invisible to all but Rakan and Chigusa, intent on killing the three friends. What happens? Why, Rakan charms him with his naiveté and sweet nature and, wait for it, they become friends!
Underneath the buddy-buddy layer of the plot, there’s more to the story: Rakan is a sanome, a person capable of making seeds bloom and plants grow. Chigusa is desperate to take him back to his home world, a place slowly withering away, so that he can accomplish his goal of killing the person he holds responsible: the Imperial Prince. There are numbered children, thrown away because they are considered useless; a malicious man stands at the Prince’s right hand, carrying out his own agenda; and creatures like the stone wolf roam Chigusa’s home world. Oh, and there’s also maybe, hopefully, a bit of a romance developing between Rakan and Chigusa.
The story has its strange moments, which only serve to make it that much more interesting; you just can’t look away. And the four main characters (and Koh) are likeable. Odd, but undeniably likeable. The series has made me smile, has kept me hooked, and I definitely want more.
The one stumbling point is that, on occasion, the layout becomes frenetic, the panels confusing to follow, and likewise the dialogue. It just meant that I needed to read it over twice, the second time a little more carefully. Obviously it hasn’t impeded my enjoyment of the series.
Volume 8 of Silver Diamond comes out at the end of December; I’ve already ordered my copy.