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

Jul 26, 2010

Panic X Panic VS. Fairy Navigator Runa

Magical Kiddos Unite! Looking for a new magical girl series, but not sure where to start? Del Rey has put out two new series that fall into this category and I've picked up both to see which one grants more wishes.

Panic X Panic

The Gist: A boy of western faith and a girl of eastern faith - rivals in their high school class, they seem to have a combined destiny to fight off evil demons that have been released through a broken gate in order to save the world.

Romance?: It looks like rivals who despise will become crushes in time. Fighting together will bring them closer. Each seems to need the other one's power.

Reminds me of: Cardcaptor Sakura - a boy and girl with their own powers overcoming evil together and falling for each other along the way.

The Art: I actually looked up the publication date, because the art in this series has a more retro look of earlier manga with small faces and big hair. Still, there are many action sequences that flow smoothly and typical busy shojo toning.

Intended audience - Rating says Teen 13+, and I'd imagine teens that are looking for action and romance would really enjoy this series. Gags and romance are aimed at actual teenagers.

Fairy Navigator Runa

The Gist: A young fourth grade girl discovers she's a hidden fairy princess that is destined to save her world.

Romance?: Already a love triangle in the works, one fairy boy tries to protect her, another mystery boy catches her love interest at first sight.

Reminds me of: Shugo Chara! - A girl discovering who she is and what power she holds, destined to save others.

The Art: This one wins hands down. Cleaner line art and toning. More attractive character designs. Judging by the cover art, Michiyo Kikuta has a softer style of cel shading than Mika Kawamura.

Intended audience - Rating says Teen 13+, but with the age of the protagonist, I think it would be appropriate for tweens too. Upper elementary girls would eat it up.

The Verdict

After reading both I do have a preference, and it's based on my feelings about characters. I think I'd rather read a story where the boy and girl are equals fighting together, than a girl trying to make up her mind which boy she loves, as she discovers her powers. It probably is influenced also by the age of the characters. But that's my personal bias.

Right now I think both series look promising, and if you enjoy this sub genre of mahō shōjo then by all means check them both out. However, if you happen to be on a tight budget and must choose just one then I hope some of the comparison above will help to make a decision.

In the meantime, our magical heroes must continue to save the world! ✩


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