Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Magic Touch, vol. 1

Story and Art by Izumi Tsubaki
Published in the US by Viz Shojo Beat

Slugline: A happy beginning to a massage shojo

Chiaki is a shy high school student who only comes into her own when she is working with her school's massage club. Her sister always get her into trouble and her mother always takes her sister's side, soChiaki find massage an activity and place where she can help people in a concrete way without having to worry about being undercut. There is a popular male student named Yosuke whose back is so tense that Chiaki just wants to sink her hands into it, but Yosuke demands that she has to be his girlfriend first. Yosuke has confused Chiaki with her sister, who destroyd and dumped Yosuke's brother but he learns that Chiaki is very different from his expectations.

Every time that I think I have found a premise for a manga that will never work, it still manages to surprise me in a pleasant way. Let's face it, high school romance set among the massage tables just calls out for a snarky commentary. While there is still a lot to snark about, the story does manage to work. It is not very thrilling mind you, using many of the same old shojo cliches that we have seen before. Look, a character that can cook so well that everyone talks about it and a romance filled trip to the beach! But considering the topic, I expected this story to be a dog, or fall into every cliche out there, and it manages to avoid the worst excesses and be somewhat believable. And since this blog is at least in the hundreds of shojo series reviewed, yes, sometimes that is all that is necessary to be pleasant surprise.

Magic Touch, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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