Toward the end of 2022 Yen Press began releasing the manga adaptation of Unnamed Memory, a series I am particularly fond of. The first volume of the manga got off to a rough start, but I came away hopeful that the issues I had would be resolved as the series went on. Now with Volume 2 in hand, let’s find out how it shapes up!
Our story picks up a week after the end of Volume 1 where Oscar and Tinasha were wrapped up in a murder investigation during a festival. Now it’s back to their normal everyday with Tinasha trying to lift the curse on Oscar while taking on small requests as a court mage. Meanwhile, Oscar continues his romantic endeavours to get Tinasha to give up on lifting the curse and agreeing to become his wife instead.
Now that Tinasha has been at the castle for a while, rumours about her relationship with Oscar have begun to spread. While most of the castle’s staff have accepted Tinasha’s arrival as well as Oscar’s fondness for her, there are certainly those who are hoping to use her to cause trouble. One such person is Oscar’s uncle, Duke Pasval.
Duke Pasval is hoping to take the throne from Oscar and to do so, he puts a plan in motion to have an aphrodisiac slipped into his drink. This is in the hopes he will attack Tinasha and she’ll then die due to Oscar’s curse, leading him to be consumed by the guilt. Oscar does ingest the drug just as planned, but what Duke Pasval doesn’t know is that Tinasha is the Witch of the Aure Moon and is more than capable of preventing any harm coming to her or Oscar due to Pasval’s scheme.
But the problems don’t end with Duke Pasval. Someone must have told him all about Oscar’s curse since it’s not common knowledge, even among the family. Who are they and what do they hope to gain by getting rid of Oscar and/or Tinasha? Before she can figure it all out, the duo are led to the Druza magical lake where something is horribly wrong…
Once again a lot is happening in this volume of Unnamed Memory, but unlike Volume 1 the flow of the story is much neater. It doesn’t feel like as much content has been removed and it’s easier to see how each chapter connects to form the bigger picture. We’re still not spending a great deal of time focusing on the characters interacting with one another in a more peaceful day-to-day, but it does feel as if the pacing has slowed down – which is a relief!
The artwork has also improved this time around. Even back in Volume 1, we saw mangaka Naoki Koshimizu was capable of attractive and detailed work, but panels were often overwhelmed by dialogue. This time around it feels that there is a much better balance between the text and the artwork, which is what I was hoping would happen now we’re out of the initial introduction of the series. My fingers are crossed that this continues, especially as we’re heading into the climax of the first light novel’s content.
Most importantly, I’m just happy to see this world brought to life in a way that better portrays the original content. There’s no denying that the light novels are quite a commitment to read, given their large page count, so if that’s not something you have time for, I’m glad the improvements we’ve seen here mean there are other ways to enjoy this series and not feel like you’re missing out.
As previously mentioned, Unnamed Memory Volume 2 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press where it continues to be translated by Jeremiah Bourque with lettering by Chiho Christie. As with the previous volume, the translation reads well and is in keeping with that of the light novel series. Included in this release are a colour page and a short story written by author Kuji Furumiya. Volume 3 is currently scheduled for release in June.
Overall, Unnamed Memory Volume 2 feels like a much more polished presentation of the series. Having smoothed over some of the wonky pacing and other problems in Volume 1, we’re left with an adaptation that delivers a much better experience for both new fans and those hoping to experience the story in a whole new way. It’s not quite perfect, but the future of this one looks bright.