Again, Sho Murase's artwork is gorgeous -- the fluidity of space, the brilliant use of patterns, the Art Nouveau sense of design combined with the Gothic expressionism. And again, the story and characterization leave a lot to be desired, although they're slightly better than [book:Sei], possibly due to the contributions of a cowriter.
Aki, suffering from the recent death of her idolized older brother, struggles with the vicious status battles of high school; [book:Carrie] is often invoked, and no one seems trustworthy. It's not clear whether the book in fact takes place in the "real world" or in Aki's head; she has odd lapses of memory, an alternate personality, her parents discuss psychiatric commitment, and there are hints that her relationship with her brother Ken was not as idealized as she currently remembers it. I'd be upset at how all the other women are bitches and Aki's only recourse appears to be the cute boy who's interested in her, but I'm not sure the cute boy isn't hiding something either. The only real character here is Aki, and reading the book as an expressionistic nightmare exploration of her disintegrating psychological state makes it all worthwhile.
But it's definitely more for the art junkies than the story fiends.