Wish by CLAMP

Genre: fantasy
Secondary genre: contemporary
Format: manga
Series: Wish (vol 1-4)
Content warnings: bullying, fat shaming
Series rating: planchet-4
Vol 1: planchet-3
Vol 2: planchet-4
Vol 3: planchet
Vol 4: planchet-4

Shuichiro is a normal, pediatric surgeon living in Tokyo. He has a nice house, a good job, and is pretty happy with life.

So when he accidentally saves a tiny, adorable creature claiming to be an angel, he declines her offer of a wish granted. What more could he want?

But Kohaku is insistent. She must repay his kindness. When he still can’t think of anything, she determines to stay hear him until he can come up with a wish. Thinking it only logical, he offers her a place to stay.

Unfortunately, the little angel, Kohaku (who can turn human sized when it’s daylight) came to Earth with a mission, and has a bad habit of bringing her work home with her. Soon, Shuichiro’s house guests also include an exiled angel and demon, as well as another demon and his two minions who stop by regularly to torment Kohaku.

Because this is a four volume series, I can’t go into two much detail about the individual books without giving away the plot. I will say that volume 1 is the set up, volume 2 is plot driven, while volume 3 focuses more on emotional development. The fourth and final book wraps everything up, with a plot twist that makes me cry no matter how many times I re-read this series.

This is one of my favorite manga series from when I was in college, and I don’t know how many times I’ve read it.

That being said, it does have some problematic elements.

For starters, while the book uses the terms “angel”, “demon”, “God,” and “Devil,” the actual mythology bears very little resemblance to Christian mythology–which, honestly, is pretty typical for Japanese media. Personally, it didn’t bother me, but I know it would bother some people.

Second, Koryu, a demon of roughly the same level as Kohaku, loves to bully her, and they are always arguing about who has the fatter chibi form in the first book. It was super irritating, especially since one of them was always in human form, and CLAMP is known for drawing very slender figures.

And lastly, the bullying itself. While it would be expected for a demon to give an angel a hard time, one line in volume 4 in particular was a hard pass from me: “Bullying is just another way to say ‘I love you.'” NO. Not okay.

One last little note: in book 2 we meet a white cat who changes personalities at night. In the book, he’s generally a sweet cat, though his night-time personality can be aggressive. I’m not sure how I feel about this. It didn’t bother me when I read it a few years ago, but now I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. I am not the person to decide if this is positive rep for personality disorders, so I will leave it up to you to decide.

Overall, I love this series, and I know I will read it again. But I also own that it has a lot of problematic bits that are endemic both to when it was written (the early 2000s), and where it was written (Japan in general has a lot of problems with racism, sexism, fatphobia, homophobia, etc). CLAMP is usually pretty good about avoiding racism and sexism (It’s an all female group) and if I remember correctly at least 2 members of the 4-person team are queer (I don’t know their specific identities, but CLAMP has always been very pro-LGBTQ). That doesn’t mean they get a pass on everything, however.

If, despite all that, you’re looking for a sweet, quirky romance that will tear your heart out but still give you an HEA, then consider checking out this series.

 

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