By day, he’s a studious member of the elementary school’s student council; by night, the mysterious gentleman-thief 20 Masks. When one of his escapades brings him face-to-face with young Utako Ogawa, Akira Ijyuin discovers that something has been stolen from him: his heart! Although the demands of school and his two (yes, two. Don’t ask.) mothers keep him incredibly busy, Akira sets aside each Friday evening to visit Utako. As the two fall more and more for each other, it seems they might just have found what most people only dream of–true love that lasts a lifetime.
Too. Super. Cute! Man of Many Faces is one of CLAMP’s earlier works, but it showcases the classic beauty of their art and story building excellently. The characters are lovable–cute, easygoing Akira; Utako, who knows her mind and speaks it. The theme is definitely love, but the story has a way of turning our preconceptions of love inside out and upside down, making the reader think about romance from a different perspective. It’s surprisingly though-provoking for a manga about a kindergartener and a fourth grader (and yes, I have issues about romance involving kids that young, but these two are very mature for their ages, and they wait until later to get too involved in their relationship). It’s weird that there are a lot of unexplained situations regarding Akira’s family (like why he has two moms–who aren’t lesbian–and why his dad isn’t around when he clearly is alive and loves his family very much). Still, Many of Many Faces is a very fun, quick, cute manga that I’d definitely recommend.