Three Sisters–One Power: Michelle is a romantic daydreamer and hardcore book collector. Maggie is a soft-spoken bookworm who always gets mistaken for a boy. Anita is a tomboy who doesn’t have time for reading. Together, they’re the Paper Sisters, three very different siblings united by a strange power. Michelle, Maggie and Anita all have the ability to control paper in any way they desire. And from their Hong Kong detective agency, they solve any and all cases involving books
Written by Hideyuki Kurata, Illustrated by Ran Ayanaga
Published: November 2006 by Viz Media
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Slice of life, Manga/Graphic Novel
The plot of this manga is different from the action oriented anime but I really enjoyed the slice of life direction it took instead. I recommend following The Paper Sister’s adventurous attempts at hoarding books and solving light book-related mysteries in both the manga and the anime. The first story in the manga is about locating a girl’s misplaced book. I found that that the resolution to the opening tale was a little too short and sweet for my taste. Though I loved the mysterious library in the second story.
Chapter 2 – The Paper Sister’s Detective agency receives a request from a boy who needs to return a book for a friend who has passed away. The book belongs to the library which only appears at a certain hour. It’s a whimsical meeting place:
Our library…comes to this world only once every 10 years. It originally stood here, but it burned down…so we moved to another world.
In this world, there are more books than you can read…but there’s no need to rush. If you really need a book, you’ll find it. It’s the same with people. Read books and make friends. Anyone who likes the same books you like will become a good friend.
I want to cross into a parallel dimension to visit the midnight library where I can chat with friends and read books to my heart’s content.
Chapter 3 – We return to the sisters’ daily dilemmas. My life can be summed up with the quote-worthy exchange:
“I keep telling you! Separate the money for food from the money for books!” – Anita.
“But…But books are nutrients for the soul.” – Michelle.
Chapter 4 – This chapter follows an alien from outer space who will refrain from destroying humanity if The Paper Sisters can recommend her a good book. Chaos ensues:
‘Is there really such a cultural gap in our appreciation of aesthetics?’
Chapter 5 – By chance, Maggie befriends a young girl by reading her stories. They help each other perceive their choices in life a bit more clearly in this short tale.
Chapter 6 – Speaking of keeping priorities in line, this final chapter is about two bibliophiles who disagree over how to shelve their stacks of books:
Michelle’s Biblio-manic’s memo:
[Bookdraft] – books ‘temporarily’ stuffed into a room while bookcases are being orgranised will explode outward when a door is opened. This is the greatest fear of families of biblio-manics.
I love manga that ends on a light-hearted note. I wish there were copies of it at my book store but I will have to settle for picking up the sequels from the library.