Okay, so...if you're very into shoujo, this is the perfect manga for you. It has everything a good shoujo manga needs. A cute girl with good intentions who happens to have some kind of supernatural power + a handsome hero who is super strong with a heart of gold + a villain who is trying to keep them apart = perfect shoujo ever. All it's missing is a love triangle, but I'm really glad it didn't have that...
The story of From Far Away/Kanata Kara follows young Noriko, a high school girl who is mysteriously transported to a magical land. She is thrown into the arms of Izark, a handsome stranger who, for whatever reason, decides to take care of her and keep her safe. Meanwhile, tales of a supposed Sky Demon and Awakening follow them as they travel and the world she's been transported to is thrown into deeper and deeper chaos as the world awaits for this Sky Demon to take over.
It's a typical shoujo, no? The story reminds me a lot of something like Red River or Fushigi Yuugi...definitely check out this manga if you're into either of those manga because this will be right up your alley. There's not much that makes this stand out from either of the two manga mentioned above or any other manga in this genre, but it was still a decent read. There were a few times I found myself wanting to roll my eyes or just feeling as if I was being oversaturated with Noriko's goodness or Izark's nobleness, but, honestly, that's just because shoujo isn't always for me. I read this as a reprieve because I just finished Monster not too long ago and I needed something light-hearted to lift my spirits. This did not disappoint. Even though it was a 6/10 for me, personally, it is very much a product of its genre.
The art is very nice, very pretty, which is to be expected of the genre. The men are quite handsome and the girls are very cute. One thing I really liked that the mangaka did was to create some characters who weren't what would be considered "attractive" in the eyes of society and to make them the good guys. A lot of times in shoujo, the bad guys are always "ugly" and the good guys are "beautiful," but this artist decided to do it the opposite way around. It was very much a breath of fresh air.
The characters were nothing noteworthy, but still entertaining. You have the main characters which I mentioned above, and then, of course, you have to have an entourage. All good manga have some kind of entourage of crazy characters and this manga did not disappoint in that regard. I especially loved the characters who started off evil and then made their way to the other side and fought for good. Very, very cool. I wasn't the biggest fan of the main characters, but I didn't dislike them. I really like that the mangaka decided to make Izark, the hero, someone relatable and sympathetic. Quite often, heroes in series like these are untouchable and stoic, but he wasn't. Once again, a nice breath of fresh air.
Overall, this manga was not a waste of time, in my opinion. It's not a genre I typically enjoy, but I didn't hate it. There were cheesy moments, sure, but the ending was kind of heartwarming and the overall theme of redemption was really beautiful. I don't think I'd ever recommend this to someone who isn't into shoujo - it wasn't quite that good - but I would definitely recommend it to those who love shoujo. You will get an absolute kick out of this!