Visionaries: Phantasnic

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Visionaries: Phantasnic
Author: Jin Fukazawa
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591149355
276 pages
10.6 x 15.0 cm / 4.2 x 6.0 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2016
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This volume raises the curtain on a college-campus fantasy series set in England—the tale of an outgoing Japanese student and an antisocial English youth who learn from each other and gain maturity in the course of incidents involving a variety of supernatural entities. The series has reached five volumes as of mid-2017.

Kai Minagawa sees dead spirits, and when Aya Mishiba, a younger girl he’s become close to, makes a suicidal leap right in front of his eyes, he flees Japan for a college in England, where he moves in with his Aunt Mariko in the fictitious small town of Wittsbury. On his way home from campus one day he gets tricked by a fairy and becomes lost. To his rescue comes a redheaded and rather brusque English boy named Lance.

A variety of phantasmic life forms such as fairies, ghosts, and spirits inhabit England but are invisible to the vast majority of the population. A Special Bureau of Phantasm Control and Information has been established to deal with incidents known as “phantasnics”—a portmanteau of “phantasm” and “panic”—that involve people’s encounters with these entities. Lance is a member of the SBPCI, and as the “anti-phantasnic agent” in charge of the Wittsbury area, he had been called out by Aunt Mariko. Lance is surprised to discover that Kai can see fairies. In England, those with this ability are said to have second sight, and once this power is recognized, they are sent to the SBPCI from an early age to be trained as agents. Lance is among those who grew up in the bureau, but apparently owing to some baggage he carries from his prior life, he is something of an oddball: on the one hand he is antisocial and has no friends, while on the other he shows an unusual degree of kindness to phantasmic entities.

Kai had actually seen Lance on campus a number of times before this—Lance’s status as an agent allows him access to campus even though he’s not a student—and each time he had noted that Lance seemed pale and ill. Now one day he finds Lance collapsed in a faint and comes to his aid. Busybody that he is, he learns through their subsequent interactions that Lance goes regularly to a spring located deep in the woods on campus. A beautiful spirit named Cynthia lives in the spring, and since the spring is slated to be filled in, he is preparing to move her to new waters: in order to make the move, she must build up her strength to a level close to that of a human, and to that end, Lance has been giving Cynthia his blood to drink.

Having gained a soul because of her love for Lance, Cynthia goes to face off with a pair of twin spirits that have designs not only on her soul but on Lance’s as well. Both Lance, who tries to come to her aid, and Kai, who tries to back him up, fall into the hands of the twins. Just when all seems lost, the ghost of Aya appears to offer up her own soul to the twins and save the others. Aunt Mariko arrives to find Kai and Lance lying unconscious and takes them home, but by the time they have revived, she has vanished, leaving a note that reveals she is a sorceress.