( a fanlisting )

A fanlisting is a group of people who like something: i.e. a group of people who like wolves. All a fanlisting is is a list of fans to do with that particular person, item, or object; it joins together people with similar interests.

( clover by clamp )

Clover was first published in 1997, and has four volumes total. The narrative is a non-linear one: the first two volumes happen last, the third happens second, and the fourth happens first. In Clamp no Kiseki, CLAMP revealed that Clover was intended as a six volume series but was placed on indefinite hiatus after the magazine in which it was serialised was dissolved. Like several other works that are on indefinite hiatus, CLAMP have expressed interest in going back to it... but being CLAMP, that hasn't happened yet.

Clover is set in a dystopian, cyberpunk world, and reads a little like a fairytale in retrospect (there's certainly no happy endings; if there are any, it's temporary). In the world of Clover, magical children have begun to appear, and in order to contain them, the council - known as the Wizards - gathered these children up some years ago and marked them in terms of their powers as Clovers, from one leaf through to four leaf.

The four leaf is the most powerful of the Clovers, and a one leaf the least. A one leaf only has a singular power whereas the four leaf is a potential threat to the structure of the world (politically, physically) should s/he fall into the wrong hands. There is only one four leaf Clover, and that is Suu. Being dangerous beyond reckoning thanks to her magical prowess, Suu is kept isolated from the world to deter her from forming attachments. This imprisonment, in part, is voluntary, but Suu infrequently expresses a wish to one of the council members she's grown close to.

Suu wishes she could be happy.

The council member hires Kazuhito, a mercenary, to act as Suu's escort and to accompany her to Fairy Park - it's along this journey that Suu is granted her wish. This covers the events of the first two volumes.

The third book tells the story of Oruha, and the fourth and final tells the story of Ran (as well as indirectly Gingetsu and A). Suu isn't uninvolved in these stories about the other Clover. There's some benefits to being an all-powerful being.

In English, Clover has had two runs. It was firstly published in the early 2000s by Tokyopop in a flipped format. It later went out of print, and was reprinted as an omnibus of all four volumes by Dark Horse in 2009 (which, coincidently, was the first time I picked it up after searching for it for years, and then the subsequent rerelease announcement). This edition retains the original right to left format, and the colour imagery is kept between "volumes", as well as several pieces of artwork included at the end, and I would highly recommend buying it if you are at all interested in reading it.

( why )

I was promised great things from Clover. It was one of the series that I desperately wanted, and when I finally attained it, I was delighted that I actually had the opportunity to read it. It really is different, in all sense of the world. It boldly steps away from the tradition of manga and the mainstream and creates something very unique, in aesthetic and how it is presented; the use of lyrics to tie in with the story, as well as the plot that's spelled out for you and what is left for you to piece together yourself. I think its presentation is where it truly shines, mind: the fact it still remains special that way.

Clover also captures a very particular mood of genre that's very difficult for me to define or find elsewhere (ha), but let's put it this way: there was no real surprise I ended up falling head over heels for the videogame Transistor, as it captures that same feeling.

If you're interested, I also wrote a review of Clover on goodreads fresh from reading it, which probably is a more articulate look at why I like it so much. Said review is a little dated now, but it captures my enthusiasm and wonderment I had at the time and makes a pretty good case as to why you should read it, too.

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