Here you will find honest, intelligent manga reviews for shojo fans of all ages.

May 27, 2009

First Impressions - Shugo Chara!

If I'm remembering correctly, I came across Shugo Chara! in a Peach-Pit article on Anime News Network. I already had a copy of Rozen Maiden volume one, but hadn't really paid attention to the authors. The graphics of Shugo Chara! intrigued me, and when I found out that it won the Kodansha Manga Award, well, of course I had to read it.

Synopsis: An elementary school girl named Amu Hinamori appears to her classmates to be very "cool" and a model student. On the inside, she's actually a shy girl who wants to be more outgoing. After making a wish one night that her "would-be" self would emerge, she awakens the next morning to find three eggs in her bed. These eggs - one red, one blue, and one green - seem to hatch when Amu desperately desires a particular personality trait. The first egg to hatch reveals a mini-guardian named Ran who empowers Amu to cheer with amazing athletic abilities. Miki hatches next, and infuses Amu with the ability to draw, paint, or design anything creatively. The last to hatch is Su, who blesses Amu with the ability to cook like a gourmet chef. With the emergence of Ran, Miki and Su, Amu becomes part of the "Guardians", a student council-like body which protects the children and school campus. Her adventures lead her on the search for "x-eggs", broken dreams of children that are extracted before they can hatch into mini-guardians, and the "embryo", a shining white egg that will grant any wish. Along the way she makes many friends and even a couple of crushes.

Review: The creativity of this writing duo makes for a unique twist on the "magical girl" manga. This is the first shojo piece written by Peach-Pit, and the newness to the genre is refreshing. The art is well drawn and ubercute to appeal to a younger audience. The colored pieces reveal the true talent of the artists. Although this series is aimed at young girls, it is still enjoyable by all ages. What I really like about Shugo Chara! is the underlying message that the mangakas incorporated. In the manga the main characters work hard to use their guardians' powers and protect the unhatched guardians of the other children. This is an encouragement to young children to search out their potential, realize their dreams, and support the dreams of their friends as well. That's some powerful stuff, people.

In my opinion, every library should be getting this series and encouraging reluctant young readers to pick it up. I'm looking forward to seeing the conclusion of this story. It's been a joyful ride so far!

Romance Rating: Cuddly - Aimed at a younger audience, this series keeps it age appropriate. Maybe we'll get a kiss eventually. :)

Media Status: Shugo Chara! is being released by Del Ray here in the states and is currently on volume 6. A 51 episode anime was produced by Satelight under the direction of Kenji Yasuda. You can view it English subbed on ANN's video streaming. A second season called Shugo Chara!!Doki!- also aired in Japan. We'll have to wait and see if we get any English dubs.


shugo chara said...

im loving shugo chara. nice blog layout u have.

Laura said...

Thanks! :)

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin