Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Momogumi Plus Senki, vol. 1

Created by Eri Sakondo
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline:Childhood stories taken way too seriously

Yuuki enters a new school, hopeful that his bad luck would finally stop following him for he is tired of it always causing accidents and personal disasters. But he discovers once at the school he is the reincarnated hero of a classic Japanese fairy tale, Momotoro . His bad luck is the result of being cursed by the demons he once defeated in the original tale, so now he has to defeat those same demons in order to lift the curse before he dies. Fortunately, the school attracts reincarnated people of all types, so not only has Mamotoro's demons been reincarnated as his fellow students but his old animal allies and his adoptive grandparents are also in the school, but in unexpected ways.

The art in most manga is technically proficient so it is the story and writing that have problems. This is one of the few times that the art itself is the problem, not that it is an incomprehensible style, but its ability to help tell the story is weak. Some of the panels are messier than the others, making it difficult to follow the story because after pages that were tidy it creates a speed bump effect jarring you out of the story. The use of chibi is off-putting, both in how the chibi are drawn and when they are used. Finally, the art style itself seems to be aimed at an older audience, while the story and the characters seem to be intended for an younger one. As a result, the whole book just felt out of step despite seeming on the surface to be orderly and readable.

Momogumi Plus Senki, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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