Time Stranger Kyoko (時空異邦人KYOKO Jikuu Ihou Jin Kyoko?) is a manga series written and illustrated by Arina Tanemura. Originally serialized in Ribon from the September 2000 issue to the September 2001 issue, the individual chapters were collected and published in three tankōbon volumes in Japan by Shueisha. Viz Media licensed the series for an English-language version in North America, releasing the first volume in July 2008; the third and final volume was released in January 2009.
An eleven-minute-long original video animation (OVA) based on the manga series, Time Stranger Kyoko: Leave it to Chocola, was released in Japan in 2001 at Shuiesha's "Ribon Festival". Produced by Production I.G, Transarts and directed by Masatsugu Arakawa, the OVA centers on the character Chocola.
In the 30th Century, the planet is now united under one country called Earth. Princess Kyoko is protected by the last remaining members of the Dragon clan: the princes Hizuki and his younger brother Sakataki. Kyoko has lived the life of a commoner, attending public school under the quiet protection of her two guardians, while avoiding being seen in public as the princess. As her 16th birthday approaches, the time when she will inherit the crown, her subjects are growing restless at her refusal to be seen. A gang comes to the school having heard a tip she was there, and begins harassing Kyoko's friend Karen. Kyoko reveals her identity to protect both her friend and the school. Afterwards, she returns home to accept her fate, but her father offers her the chance to return to the life she prefers if she can awaken her twin sister, Ui. Ui, has been in a coma-like state since she was born and is said to be "trapped in time". If she awakens, she would inherit the crown, and Kyoko would be free. Wanting to meet and speak with the sister she has never known, Kyoko agrees to undertake the quest.
To do this, Kyoko must find the Strangers, twelve telepaths who each hold a holy stone that enables their owners to use specific powers. Kyoko herself is the first, the Time Stranger, and the one destined to lead the others. She has the power to stop time and go back in time, and is given the "Scorpion Cane" which talks to her and aid Strangers. Her guardian Sakataki is revealed to be the Crystal Stranger, and they are able to quickly find the next ten strangers, all leaders of their clans and descendants of the Kirit clan. They are able to find the ten of the remaining strangers quickly, and along the way Kyoko comes to appreciate her position as a princess and decides she will continue to be one even after Ui awakens.
As the story progresses, Kyoko and Sakataki fall in love, though they do not reveal their feelings to one another. Kyoko plans to confess with the final stranger is found, but one night Hizuki kisses her in her sleep and confesses his own love for her. He is quickly arrested as his actions are taken as an attack on the princess. With Hizuki sentenced to death, to save his life Kyoko chooses him to be her husband and tells him that she loves him. He reveals to Sakataki that he did it on purpose to become her husband and that he is a demon Kirit and the one who destroyed the Dragon Clan. He gives Sakataki the only sword capable of killing him, then forces him into a duel wanting to die, but Kyoko stops it and yells at him. Sakataki also tells him he knew what Hizuki had done as a child, and that he still loved him. Satisfied, Hizuki reveals himself to be the last Stranger.
The ceremony is performed to awakened Ui, but her body vanishes and she awakens in Kyoko's body. Kyoko awakens in another world where she meets Chronos, the god of time and her true father. He explains that as a child, Kyoko needed a human body to mature in quickly as he was dying, and the king agreed to allow him to use Ui's body. In performing the ceremony, Kyoko returned Ui to her own body and Kyoko returned to being a god. She was forgotten by everyone, except the King, who cried at losing her. Kyoko accepts being this and agrees to fulfill her duties, but she cannot forget Sakataki and runs to where he is and confesses her love to him though he can not see or hear her. She kisses him goodbye and he briefly sees her before she goes. He finds a water strain in his pocket with a picture and note from her, which unlocks his memories. He runs to the clock to find her, but it was destroyed after Kyoko and Chronos returns to their own world. He gathers the other Strangers and helps them remember. They use their powers to open a rip in time, allowing Sakataki to go to where Kyoko is.
Realizing how much they love one another, Chronos allows Kyoko to return to the human world after absorbing some of her powers to enable himself to continue ruling. The king gives Kyoko the body of his late wife Kiku, who died giving birth to Ui and for whom Chronos had stopped time. She marries Sakataki and continues to live as a princess and as a sister to Ui.
Time Stranger Kyoko premiered in the September 2000 issue of Ribon where it ran for one year, concluding in the September 2001 issue. The thirteen individual chapters were collected and published in three tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first released in Japan on March 15, 2001 and the last on December 10, 2001. The manga is licensed for English language release by Viz Media. The first volume was released in North America on July 1, 2008; the last on January 6, 2009
Time Stranger Kyoko was listed at 48 on a list of the top 50 manga for summer 2008, which reflected sales for May, June, and the first half of July 2008.
Publishers Weekly felt the plot and art were too busy saying, "the detailed costume designs are a mishmash of time periods, [there are] lots of screen tone[s], and speed lines fill every frame". While the series is rated by Viz for older teens, the reviewer felt it would appeal to young girls.
- ↑ "Time Stranger Kyoko (manga)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
- ↑ "Time Stranger Kyoko (OAV)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ "Time Stranger Kyoko Volume 1". Viz Media. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- ↑ "Time Stranger Kyoko Volume 3". Viz Media. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- ↑ "ICv2 - ICv2 Top 50 Manga--Summer 2008". ICv2. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- ↑ "Fiction Reviews: Week of 6/2/2008". Publishers Weekly. 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2009-01-15.[dead link]
- Official Time Stranger Kyoko Viz Page
- Official Time Stranger Kyoko Shojo Beat Page
- T.H.E.M. Anime Review's T.S.K. review
- Anime News Network review