Artist Spica Aoki transports readers in her 2015 series “Beasts of Abigaile” to the land of Ruberia as leading lady Nina Tsukishiro as she settles into her new home. Excitement fills her as she explores the area around her relative’s’ house but it turns into shock as a ruckus approaches her. They chase a strange hooded figure and Nina decides to stop the pursued person herself. She succeeds in stopping him but not without repercussion as the man now with red eyes and wolf ears bites her throat. She loses consciousness and wakes up in the back of a truck with other wolf children heading to the island next to Ruberia, Abigaile. She learns that the bite turned her into a “luga” or wolf person and cannot return to her previous human life. She also discovers that the luga have a strict chain of command within themselves which she does not want to take part of. There’s a lot for her to understand in her new prison and she wants to get back to the way things were before the bite.

Aoki, also known as Ringo Naki, puts her own twists to the famous werewolf. Though the first volume keeps the origins of the luga race in the dark, it seems that Aoki keeps them humanoid, away from a full-fledged wolf. They are also under the rule of the humans which in other fantasy books they are servants to vampires, keeping a bit of that oppressed lore in the manga. Aoki’s art style also has a bit of a 80’s/90’s anime flair especially when looking at the faces of the main characters. She also uses some of the older forms of emotional expressions that give small light moments within the overall dark tale. It gives more to the struggle Nina has as she is a modern girl thrown into a life filled with archaic rules.

Volume Three of “Beasts of Abigaile” will hit shelves in early March. For more information, visit Seven Seas Entertainment’s website.

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