Clover (CLAMP)

Vol: 4; Ch: 22
1997 - 1999
3.738 out of 5 from 779 votes
Rank #14,478
Clover (CLAMP)

In a futuristic world, the government seeks to control humans with unique powers who are called ‘Clovers'. Each Clover has a different power level identified by a tattoo which ranges from one to four.  Kazuhiko is a former soldier turned private eye and he is tasked with transporting Sue, the only ‘Four Leaf Clover' in existence, to Fairy Park. Over the course of their journey he discovers more about Sue and the powers the Clovers contain. 

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I’m not going to lie, this is one of the most confusing manga’s that Clamp produced and I have heard that isn’t even done yet. I’m somewhat glad its not because as it is, there really isn’t any definitive ending to the plot or answers as to what it was supposed to be about. Nanase Ohkawa has actually explained that there are two books left that are needed to complete the story but unfortunately, there is no date to when those would be released.We follow a girl named Sue and her protector Kazuhiko as they travel the land in search of something. A running fraise that seems to always come up is ‘I only want your Happiness but I cannot be yours,’ and saying about 4-leaf clovers. To tell the truth, I couldn’t figure out very much of the story because much of it was cryptic. There was also a strange male who seemed to be rather interested in Kazuhiko. I can understand many of the stories and philosophies that clamp normally uses, but in this case, I can’t understand. It’s sad that this isn’t even done because it probably would have the answers we were searching for. Sadly, at the time of this review, it has been about 13-14 years since it came out and they still have it considered on hold.The artwork is so beautiful even if the characters look like their from xxxHolic in how long armed and small headed they are. It has an interesting fantasy aspect to this as well where we have talking rabbit’s dolls walking around and they seem more from the world of wonderland how they are drawn. There is a lot of steam punk cyber style images, especially how the wings are drawn. I love this style in how charming and fine detailed it all is down to some of the strains of hair.


Out of the handful of Clamp series I've read so far, Clover is by far my favorite.  In fact, I must look into getting my own copy of the compilation book, as I've nearly ruined the one I checked out from the library.  You're probably wondering why I've nearly destroyed the book (actually, it isn't that bad, but it's certainly not in the brand-spanking condition I checked it out in).  I can't help reading it, for three main reasons.First, it's one of those stories that needs to be read several times to ensure you've captured all the details.  Read it once, and you have a decent idea of what happened.  However, the Clamp ladies came up with the ingenious idea to tell the story backward.  Not completely backward; more like the Seinfeld episode with the wedding in India backward - in an episodic fashion.  In a way this makes Clover even more tragic, blatantly foreshadowing death and destruction.There are three "episodes" that make up Clover, told from the most recent then going back in time.  Each involves the same set of characters, revealing how they die, part from each other, fall in love, the promises they make and meet one another.  Because we read it in that order, nuiances that made no sense in the first chapter make perfect sense by the last.Another reason I keep rereading Clover is the art.  Not only can the mangaka tell a story, they can draw one, too.  And as I have the 20th aniversary (of Clamp) "omnibus" edition, there happens to be bonus color illustrations that are fantastic.  I want to run to Kinko's to make full-sized copies and hang them on the wall.  (Sorry, if you heard weird, school-girl-like giggling, it was probably me.)Finally, each "episode" has a poignant poem, lyrics if you will, that flow throughout each chapter.  My own brain has already been setting music to the first poem (I just need to find time to write it down).  I imagine a soprano part with plenty of colloratura...well, nevermind the technical detail, but every time I pick the book up, it's as though music floats into my mind.What I didn't care for too much were certain unexplained minor characters and unexplained situations.  It seemed like perhaps there should have been a fourth "episode" that involved some kind of background between one of the protagonists and one of the antagonists (ie, Kazuhiko and Bols).  It would have been great to know the history between those two.Also, sometimes it is difficult to tell who is speaking - yet another reason to reread and make sure you go over the dialogue carefully.  Of course, it could have just been me that was confused, but personally I think maybe the editors had a dip in the bottle before OKing the book.  (Joke!  Joking!  Don't sue me for liable or slander!)Anyway, Clover is definitely a top-notch manga, full of food for thought, and certainly not your typical shoujo.  The girls from Clamp definitely score an A for this piece!

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