Call the Name of the Night Volume 1 touches the heart with a story of a young girl, Mira, living with a doctor, Rei, for her curse. She suffers a night affliction, meaning when she’s distressed, night covers everything, endangering those around her. Not merely a slice-of-life story, the series builds a sweet relationship between Rei, whom Mira calls “master,” and herself. While the story has an adorable, magical aspect, and the pair are sweet, there is concern regarding how men engage with Mira. Call the Name of the Night Volume 1 is engaging but raises concern, especially between the Cartos and Mira.
Created by Tama Mitsuboshi with translation by Amanda Haley and lettering by Lys Blakeslee, it immediately reveals Mira’s abilities after she awakens at home alone. Published by Yen Press, the first volume has six chapters, dubbed episodes, and a prologue. The latter is where Mira’s anxiety builds when she sees a letter that Rei will return in the afternoon. Soon the night, complete with stars, spills out of her as she fights to remain calm. When Rei arrives, two small, sentient shadows appear before Rei, and he realizes what’s happened. He opens a curtain, comforts her, and the night slowly recedes.
Call the Name of the Night Volume 1 Spotlights Trauma and Anxiety
The volume accurately depicts how past trauma can impact the present. Mira’s growth is not an arc to immediate healing. She backslides and feels guilty every time night encroaches. Rei’s patience and care help her, but it is not an automatic fix. He keeps her in his home, away from others, but they also occasionally hang out in the fields. The setting is a rural otherworld with magic, towns with cottages, and the like. A place without electricity could probably increase folks’ fear of the night. Though Mira’s past is not fully clear, her parents love her. So something else must’ve happened to trigger her anxiety.
Mira blames herself for her inability to control night from spilling out. However, things like the shadows flourish at night and cannot survive the sun. It’s fascinating seeing the shadow’s viewpoint. Their elders cautioned them about murderous humans. One child did grab one of the shadows to bring them into the sun, and Mira saved them. Call the Name of the Night Volume 1 captures the nuance of how precious life is even when it’s not human.
Cartos Makes You Worry About Rei and Future Characters
Mira is a child. At most, she’s a young teen. Cartos maneuvers Mira, convincing her to come outside. The manner in which he cups her face is creepy and disturbing. If the manga goes the route of men flirting with little girls, all the other positive qualities of the series are moot. None of it will negate normalizing predatory relationships. I’m hoping Rei positively influences Mira’s life sans any romantic notions. However, hopefully they do not try and build a grotesque relationship between Mira and Rei.
Call the Name of the Night Volume 1 has an adorable child struggling for self-acceptance, magic, and wonder. There’s a beauty here reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. The series will be outstanding if future volumes focus on Mira’s growth, the unknown light self that’s always with her, and forming healthy bonds. After all, it’s the first series I read that made jam from stars.