Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kilala Princess, v. 1

Art by Nao Kodaka, Story by Rika Tanaka
Released in the U.S. by TokyoPop

Slugline: Remember how they tell you that you should try to avoid Mary Sue
characters in your writing? Apparently in manga you can make a nice living publishing it.

Every little girl wanted to be a princess when they were growing up, or at least that seems to be the theory. Of course, when I asked some women about that, none of them admitted to it. Kilala Princess is a story of Kilala and her best friend Erica. Erica is a shoo-in to win their school’s annual princess pageant and wear the school tiara. Two strangers arrive, looking for a princess to save their country, but their unknown enemy kidnaps Erica, leading them into a chase which goes through Snow White’s world, where Kilala and Rei, one of the searchers, face off against the Evil Queen.

This is in the manga readers format, so it shorter than most manga and is aimed at ages 8-12. As such the story is very basic and lifts bits from the Snow White movie. But what I liked about it is the friendship between Kilala and Erica, and despite Kilala not being the most popular or the most hated girl in school, she still can make a difference. Because far more girls are average (by definition) than anything else, that is a good message. So I think for its age range, this is a good title, though realize its rating is for that age range, and precocious readers may outgrow it earlier.

Kilala Princess is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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