Thursday, November 06, 2008


By Matsuri Hino
Published in the US by Viz Shojo Beat

Slugline: Sure, it's pirates, but no ninja or samurai pirates? Not even a single zombie pirate?

Armeria is a young singer associated with a traveling troupe that is performing at an aristocrat's dwelling, but the only aristocrat that she likes there is Luce. Of course, that means he is kidnapped to be a hostage by a pirate band, named after their leader Skull. She spends the next six years chasing after them until she manages to become a cabin boy on the pirate Skull's ship, and even though she is quickly revealed to be a girl in pursuit of the 'dead' Luce, the pirate leader Skull treats her relatively gently. It is quickly revealed that the pirate leader is actually the older Luce, who had long gotten tired of his aristocratic relatives' cruelty and now acted as a maritime Robin Hood. Armeria tries to rekindle the feelings she and Luce shared with the much changed Skull, while trying to help him in his piracy/acts of kindness. There is also a one chapter backup story of love in Meiji-era Japan.

This is a fairly traditional light shojo, with the only reason I think this being rated 16+ is the one-panel of Armeria's rather modest busom when she is revealed to be a girl. Matsuri Hino is far better known for her work on Vampire Knight, so this may of interest to her completists. Oddly enough, though this is an earlier work, I think that Armeria is a stronger female lead than Yuki of Vampire Knight, but then it may be because she doesn't have to do as much in the story. But it feels very much like a plug and play shojo, well-executed, but lacking in real dramatic tension or any surprises. Pirates are popular at the moment, but this is a straightforward story that doesn't use the pirate elements or mix it up much.

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


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