The main character of this classic manga is a tragic young girl named Su. She lives in a futuristic society where the military has sought out gifted children who possess the innate ability to magically affect technology, achieving incredible feats such as, teleportation and materialization of weaponry at will. Dubbed “clovers,” these gifted children are caged and isolated from other humans, due to the fear that anyone for whom they develop affection, would then be able to use them as weapons to destroy the government. Classed according to how powerful they are, the children are branded with a symbol of the Clover Project. Su is the most powerful, the only “4-leaf clover” ever discovered.
Su has one simple wish: to escape from captivity and visit a place called Fairy Park.
Only four volumes of Clover have been published. Each volume recounts a different tale of these children, backtracking from the past when Kazuhiko, an ex-military Private Eye and former lover of a dead 1-leaf clover takes Su to Fairy Park to the present day, when Gingestu, a 2-leaf clover became the guardian of Ran, a 3-leaf clover.
Clover was serialized in Kodansha‘s Amie magazine from 1997 to 1999. Sadly, the story was never completed. The manga was discontinued when Amie magazine ceased production in 1999. Dark Horse Comics released an omnibus of the existing volumes of Clover in May of 2009.
Clover was the brainchild of the famous creative team known as CLAMP–Satsuki Igarashi, Ageha Ohkawa, Tsubaki Nekoi, and Mokona. CLAMP is well known for their visually arresting and idealistic artwork. The worlds and characters are vibrant and imbued with energetic colors that somehow manage to transport us into surreal fantasies and nightmares all at once.
Clover is a wonderfully cerebral and wistful body of work. Even incomplete, it still counts as one of the most unforgettable mangas that I’ve come across. I’ve always hoped that someday, someone will be inspired to take on Clover as an anime project—someone who will recognize its sheer genius and do it some justice.