Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Teru Teru X Shonen, vol. 1

Written and illustrated by Shigeru Takao
Released in the US by CMX Manga

Slugline: Could it finally be? A spoiled girl that isn't really hiding a heart of gold? Nahhhh.

Shinobu is the haughty princess of the school, loved and hated at the same time by many there. She is also the literal princess of her family, which according to rumor, once supported to ninja. Everyone in school is shocked to determine that there is someone new transferring in, someone from Shinobu's past that she doesn't hate. But Saizou is nothing at all what they expected. He, despite being small and slight of build, is a ninja, admittedly one who is loathe to use his skills unless it is necessary. He fends off several attacks on Shinobu, quickly determining that it was all a test to determine his fitness to protect Shinobu from a real threat that is still coming.

This is like several high school comedies, where there is one really competent person dedicated to protecting someone else, even though that other person treats him like dirt. Here it is depicted realistically without the giant hammers and chibi-like knock out effects. Without the over the top effects to show that this is not real, the tasks that Shinobu inflict upon Saizou come off as cruel rather comedic. But the threat that she is supposedly really under is not as fleshed out or concrete as her seeming cruelty. It is no wonder it is hard to feel sympathetic with the characters or feel their jeopardy. I do think that there are some interesting character work here, but the story itself is letting the characters down as it is not giving the characters much to work with.

BTW, this has turned into a early review, for some reason CMX Manga sent me this one way early.

Teru Teru X Shonen, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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