Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Lapis Lazuli Crown, vol. 1

By Natsuna Kawase
Published in the US by CMX Manga

Slugline: Everyone prefers to go through school to be with the boy they like rather than simply dating them.

Miel is a child of a magical family in the Kingdom of Savarin but despite her family's history of magical prowess she is not interested in pursuing that. She wants to be considered cute and attractive so that she can hopefully marry well, which disgusts her more magically adept sisters. One day while in town she meets Radi , a visiting nobleman who bears a resemblance to the popular Prince Radian, but of course could never actually be him. If you really believe that, I also have this fine bridge in Brooklyn available for long-term lease. Through an amazing 'twist' Miel learns of Radi's true identity and gives up her aspirations of being a gold digger, deciding instead to practice her magic so that one day she will work at the palace helping the Prince.

Why yes, one afternoon is all that is need to change someone's goals from selfish to altruistic ones. Goals that are so so altruistic Miel doesn't even think romantic thoughts about Prince Radi, though he does think she is 'special.' While the storytelling and art are accomplished, at the same time the story itself is so mild that I think the manga's E for Everyone was not intended but merely a side-effect of the title's frantic inoffensiveness. The review rating is not the result of failure or inept execution, but instead as a result of the story not affecting the reader in any way and making one wonder with it in the first place.

The Lapis Lazuli Crown, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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