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

Jun 10, 2009

First Impressions - Sugar Princess Vol.1-2

Sugar Princess is Hisaya Nakajo's second title to be released by Viz here in the states. It originally ran in Japan's Hana to Yume publication from 2005-2006. The main character Maaya Kurinoki goes ice skating with her sister one day and is scouted to become a figure skater. At the rink she meets Shun, a professional pairs skater, who does not have (nor does he want) a partner. He is told to instruct Maaya in skating basics but refuses. Maaya then turns to the children at the rink for beginning lessons. After watching her from a distance, Shun then decides he will help her out. Maaya discovers the reason behind why Shun no longer pair skates. In order to save the rink from being closed down, Shun and Maaya are asked to pair skate in a competition.

A decent setup for the story so far, however the characters fall flat. Nakajo follows too similar of a formula to Hana-Kimi. Shun is like Sano in that he's cool and quiet, and has given up doing what he loves for an unknown reason. Maaya is similar to Mizuki with her positive, sunny attitude. It's like the same character personalities have been thrown into a different setting and given different backgrounds. The artwork is the same style, and even the character designs seem familiar. Not a lot of newness here, except for plot.

Only the first two volumes have been released, and at this point Nakajo is unsure if the story will be completed, as she went on hiatus from this series in order to draw for the DS video game Duel Love: Koisuru Otome wa Shouri no Megami, released in March 2008 in Japan.

My opinion-skip it for now. If there is ever more to this series, I may change my mind, but with so little story and rehashed characters and drawings, it's not worth your time. Too bad, I like the ice skating plot, but Nakajo really needs to spend more time on this series to make it any better.

2 comments:

galimagery said...

Hey! I came here through seeing Shojo Flash's interview. =D And I definitely feel the same way as you about Sugar Princess. I didn't really notice the similarities between Hana Kimi and Sugar Princess on my own, since it feels like a lifetime since I last read Hana Kimi (5 years ago?), but I definitely feel that the character's personalities aren't half as strong as they need to be in order to carry out an interesting story line. They all came across as very flat to me. And now with the similarities to Hana Kimi's cast pointed out, I'm even more disenchanted with this story. =/ I never read past vol. 1, and I don't think I will continue. =/

Laura said...

I happen to know Hana-Kimi really well, since I've read the whole series about 5 times. I like Nakajo's artwork, but Sugar Princess is a disappointment. Found your site and linked it!

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