By Miyoko Ikeda and Michiyo Kikuta. Released in Japan as "Youkai Navi Runa" by Kodansha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Nakayoshi. Released in North America by Del Rey.
I had noted in my review of Volume 1 of this magical girl series that it had the potential to be darker than you normally see in that genre. Of course, I was merely fooling myself. Not as to Runa's potentiality for darkness, but fooling myself to think that magical girl series were ever light and fluffy. The sheer number of magical girls dealing with death and horror boggles the mind, with Sailor Moon being only the tip of the iceberg.
Unfortunately, Runa's morality at having almost killed a bad guy is quickly forgotten in this lighter and fluffier second volume, which proceeds, having introduced its cast of orphan friends in the previous chapters, to have our heroine abandon them all for their own safety and sets off to live elsewhere with her animal guardians. She now knows that she has to find the Jewel of Everlasting Time, which grants unimaginable powers.
And so we travel to nameless portside town, where there's a magical signature but it's indistinct, so Runa spends most of the time watching a cute young woman do magic tricks. Amusingly, she also becomes close with a young girl her own age, who bears a striking resemblance to her old friend Sae. I'm not certain how much of this is deliberate - it's never actually brought up - but it is fairly ironic that Runa finds a new replacement for her best friend so rapidly, and that she share similar looks and personalities.
Not a lot really happens in this volume, to be honest. There's a legend about mermaids being betrayed by humans that (surprise) turns out to be relevant later. The vaguely evil boy from Volume 1 turns up again, and his own animal guardian takes a large bite out of Runa's shoulder (again, probably the only thing justifying the T Ages 13+ rating here - this is for kids). The only real suspect turns out to be the villain, although how much of a true villain they will be we won't know until Volume 3.
So now we wait for Kodansha USA, though to be honest I won't be suffering over this series going on hiatus they way I am with Negima or Zetsubou. It has flashes of potential, but Volume 2 felt a lot more generic than Volume 1, and it's hard not to see this as just another generic Nakayoshi shoujo series, like much of Del Rey's recent shoujo output.