Miriam and her pet pig Willy were orphans. Her father was a drunken gambler. She only had a dress and they moved from place to place, until one day her father died and Grace took care of her. The series follows Miriam's life, growing up, and falling in love with her life-long friend, the skillful gunshooter Douglas.
Miriam is an older manga. Just looking at the art you can tell right away. The mangaka who created Miriam made other excellent works like From Far Away. So I was pretty sure that this one would be good and it lived up to my expectations completely. I'd suggest it to any romance reader. This story is a western romance with both action and adventure mixed into it. The romance is slow but it needs to be considering that the main protagonists of the story, are only 8 and 17 years old at the beginning. As they get older this type of age difference isn't a issue but for the first few chapters Duglas cares for her but thinks of her like a little sister. Which makes it so the story doesn't feel pedophilic in nature. Which is a good thing, because I would not have read it otherwise. The story has it's comedic moments as well as sweet ones. The artistic style is old. It is not bad just keep in mind as you go to read it, that it is an older manga and as long as you do, you will be able to appreciate it. I would say that the Art in Miriam is about average. There is nothing that stuck out to me that made me feel it was bad neither was there anything I can point out that was exceptional. The Characters are what make this manga really shine. I usually hate manga and anime with child main characters but with this one, not only could I get past the fact that Miriam was a child in the beginning, I loved her. If I had not given this one a try I would have missed something really great. I cannot speak highly enough about the 2 protagonists especially Miriam. Miriam is the type of girl who has been through a lot in her short life up to the beginning of this manga. Those experiences made her more mature in some ways. However, her difficult past did not convert her into a victim. She stayed positive most of the time, she also was very smart, willing to take risks and friendly. She was a tomboy and also manipulative but when she manipulated people she always did so in order to help those most important to her and she always acted true to her own feelings and heart. She is probably my favorite child character of all time. Duglas, the other main character, had a difficult upbringing too and because of his past he kept people at arms length which was different than how Miriam dealt with her grief even though their childhoods were similar to some extent. Douglas pushed people away so he would not have to feel pain but Miriam resolutely choose to take care of those she cared for completely to the best of her ability, so she was not scared to become close to others. As Duglas got to know Miriam he began to follow his heart more than deny it. Though because of their age difference when they first meet and she was still extremely young, it took him time to come to terms with his feelings for Miriam, even when she got older, he still tried to see her as a child and like a younger sister. Even though his over protective nature made it easy for everyone else but him to see that he had fallen for her. Duglas is tall, strong, and has a rough look to him. The other characters are also all really well fleshed out and excellent additions to the story. I don't want to make this review too long or spoil too much so I'll just leave it at this. Overall I would suggest this story to anyone looking for a good romance or western. The romance is not fast paced and it has other components to it than romance that make this story even more interesting.
Summary Miriam is an orphan, who's had a tough life but now her world revolves around her new parent Grace who took her in. But things have become a bit difficult, with strange things going on in town and A sheriff that doesn't seem to do anything. It didn't seem like things could get worse but now all of Grace's Ranch hands disappeared leaving Miriam and Grace to take care of the ranch all by themselves well Grace is getting repeated requests for marriage from Harnbag the richest man in town and he doesn't seem to understand the word no. But perhaps Miriam can trick the skillful sharpshooter Douglas and his friends into helping her and Grace. Why you should check this out! Miriam is an adorable little Spitfire who will stand up to any bully without a second thought to the fact that she is an 8-year-old child who barely reaches their knee. Honestly if you like Home Alone or any kind of story where a child is outsmarting the bad guys there's no reason you won't like this. <div class="aspect-scale" style="text-align: center;"></div> ◇Volumes 1~3◇ The first three Volumes are definitely the most entertaining in my opinion, partly because Miriam is still young and it's fun watching her run around all these grown men who are trying to catch her. But I also think the first Valiums have a better villain and character growth throughout. <div class="aspect-scale" style="text-align: center;"></div> The character growth is pretty even throughout the first three volumes, with us getting back story and character development with not just Miriam and Douglas, but with the Grace, Silver, and Dougla's friends Card and Joel. I particularly like the villain in this first part, I won't say who he is just to avoid spoilers but he was strange and kind of funny in the beginning, but as you learn more about him the more intimidating he becomes and when you think back to that funny part You realize it was actually quite dark. Cuz there's just an underlying threat that you don't really see unless you think about it and it made all the darker because of the lighthearted and fun this story is. ◇Grace◇ One of my favorite characters is Grace, which I think is a really good example of a damsel in distress done right. I really like how Kyoto is able to take these female characters and make them strong even when they're not physically strong. Grace is a very kind-hearted beautiful woman who just caught the eye of a jerk. She's a little bit too trusting but never to the point where it's stupid obvious that she shouldn't be trusting this person. But she's always trying her best to take care of herself and those she cares for. And in a way, near the end, she does save herself. Honestly, I don't know how anyone could not love this character who took in this gorgeous mistreated child and give her something she's never had before, a home. I just wanted to say something about her here because I feel like nowadays if a woman in a story isn't this big Action Hero who is physically strong than they are bad representations of what a woman should be and I just don't buy that. ◇Volumes 4~7◇ This part wasn't as entertaining for me, it was still a good read don't get me wrong, seeing the characters get older and seeing how their lives turned out was entertaining, there's a Time skip here and Miriam is now 17 and has love on the brain. It was cute watching how her relationship with Dougla transformed from a sibling/ friendship to a romantic loving one. There's another adventure here so it's not just romance but I don't think it's as good as the last one I think this is mainly because of the bad guys this time around. Kyoto is usually pretty good at writing villains, I like the one from the previous volume and I love the villains from far away, but these just kind of fell flat. OneNote bad guys who didn't really have much more to them and it shows in the story. But it was a good read and there are also some really cute short stories here as well. ◇ How it Handles The Age Difference◇ <div class="aspect-scale" style="text-align: center;"></div> I really really like how this is handle, cuz this could have been horrible if they had handled it wrong. There is a 9-year age difference between Miriam and Douglas and that understandably can be a problem for some people especially because he did know her as a child. But the reason I think this works so well is because they do take that into consideration and they don't just try to sweep it under the rug. In the beginning of volume 4 she's the one who pursues a relationship, and he flat-out rejects her, not in a mean way. But you can see he's not sure how to react to this. <div class="aspect-scale" style="text-align: center;"></div> It really helps that the author shows him going through this gradual stage of uncertainty and then to yes he does love her. And it's a really good piece of writing in my opinion. It also probably helps that in the time, this is written for, that age gaps like this one weren't all that uncommon. <div class="aspect-scale"></div> The Series come out in 1983 and is complete with 7 volumes, so it's an oldie but goodie. The first three volumes happen when Miriam is still a child, will the next 4 volumes follow her in her teens. Actually getting your hands on it Unfortunately actually getting your hands on these books is much harder than you'd think. Because they came out such a long time ago there isn't that many of them left. I kept out an eye for them for years but no luck on my end. But You can read the entire series of Miriam and From Far Away on Mangahere.cc for free. ~|Author and Artists|~ Kyoto HikawaBorn February 15, 1957, in Osaka Japan, Kyoko Hikawa has been active in the manga field since the late 1970s. Her early work included romance stories like Chizumi & Fujiomi. Her later works include romance stories like Miriam, Otogi Moyou Ayanishiki, and From Far Away which in 2004, Won the 35th annual Seiun Award for best science fiction Comic. She also the author of another review I did recently called From Far Away. <div class="aspect-scale" style="text-align: center;"></div> ~|My Overall Thoughts|~ This is a great fun story with adventure and a bit of romance that is just entertaining to read! The characters all start out as loners and gradually find their way to each other and become a family! Miriam is entertaining to read about, whether or not she's a kid or an adult. She still a Wild Spitfire as she gets older who won't put up with any bullying. And is always there to jump out at you at the last minute! <div class="aspect-scale" style="text-align: center;"></div> So yeah, this is a great Story to curl up on the couch with. I also really enjoy the artwork here, it's a bit dated but there's a lot of work and care put into it. So I highly recommend you check it out!
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