absentminded_reader's review

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3.0

This was an uneven compilation. The first half of the book was filled with quaint, but slight fairytales with an over-reliance on deus ex machine endings. The second half of modern day tales was much more satisfying. The art style was very rough as many of these stories are from early in Masami Tsuda's career. In fact, there is an editorial cartoon at the end of the book where Tsuda draws herself ashamed over the crudeness of her earlier efforts. However, we all have to start somewhere, therefor this compilation is invaluable for fans of her most renown series, [b:Kare Kano|287380|Kare Kano His and Her Circumstances, Vol. 1|Masami Tsuda|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1386925098s/287380.jpg|278812].

Of the fantasy stories, "Castle of Dreams" was the best with better fleshed out characters, a deeper storyline, and a more logical use of the wizard character. Of the stories based in our world, "I Won't Go" with it's sophisticated story about a young girl who finds herself falling in love with another boy despite having a long distance boyfriend, seems like a romance at first blush, but instead is a story about the complicated choices we make in life and how those choices affect others. There was also a theme about being true to oneself while being honest in relationships. Of the lot, it was the best story (★★★★½). A not-so-distant second place was “The Room Where an Angel Lives”. It was told mostly as a first person narrative and was about a proud young man surviving in industrial England. He found a young child abandoned by a river and even though orphaned and struggling, he took her in. This act gave him purpose as he embraced the responsibility of raising her. I found the heartwarming, though the story stumbled a bit towards the end (★★★★☆).

Fantasy doesn't seem to be the forte of Masami Tsuda. There needs to be a logic to the fantasy tale even if there is magic. Pulling endings out of hats is a cheat. Fortunately, the stories based in our reality were better told. Overall, this was a good collection, but not a strong one. ★★★☆☆

(See http://www.my-sf.com/2014/03/01/book-review-castle-of-dreams-stories-from-the-kare-kano-creator-by-masami-tsuda/)

alliwolfe's review

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2.0

these were cute stories I will give it that. I just didn't like how abruptly they ended. they needed better endings.

allithebookgiraffe's review

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2.0

these were cute stories I will give it that. I just didn't like how abruptly they ended. they needed better endings.

pvoberstein's review

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2.0

Borrowed Castle of Dreams, an anthology of short manga stories by Masami Tsuda, written over the course of a couple of months in 1995.

I was optimistic because Tsuda was the creator of the manga upon which His and Her Circumstances was based on, which has to be one of the best shōjo shows of all time. Castle of Dreams didn’t really live up, unfortunately. The loosely connected stories are rather generic and definitely too saccharine. Only the last main story (“Because I Have You”) felt like it had much in the way of emotional nuance. Solid meh.

legxleg's review

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3.0

2.5. For some reason this collection starts with the worst stories...if you can get through them, it's overall pretty fun. The fantastical stories are not the author's strong suit, so if you aren't getting into those, skip through to the contemporary ones. Awkward Relationship is my favorite - it's really adorable.

misssusan's review

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4.0

combines two anthologies of short stories: one fantasy, the other high school based. i liked them both but found the second set a bit stronger. her resolutions for the school stories kept being surprisingly real; there's certain tropes i thought she'd take that she sidestepped in favour of reaching deeper into her characters. 4 stars
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