Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fairy Navigator Runa, vol. 1

Story by Miyoko Ikeda with Illustrations by Michiyo Kikuta
Published in the US by Del Rey Manga

Slugline: In the original legends, fairies were anything but nice.

Runa was left at an orphanage as a baby, never knowing her parents but told by a teacher that Runa's kindness was her strength and that she needed to be careful or the weight of it would crush her. Runa never really understood what her teacher meant until two strangers that could transform into animals approached Runa and told her that she was the fairy princess. Her parents gave her up to protect her but now there was an open portal to the fairy realms so other fairies will come since Runa is the only one who could freely travel between the worlds. However, for Runa to use her powers makes her cold and distant, so she needs all of her friends from the orphanage and the fairy realms in order to keep her on an even keel and remind her that kindness is what makes her powerful, not fairy powers.

Runa comes across as another sweet and gentle story intended for younger readers, but then towards the end shows a bit of bite. When Runa loses her cool and wants to harm another fairy (for admittedly perfectly valid reasons) her dark side emerges that is genuinely disturbing in contrast to her earlier behavior. While she quickly gets herself back into under control, the fact that her dark side is so clear cut brings extra meaning to the story. The fear that she could lose control of herself is meaningful, rather than her just being a light and fluffy character that says she has to be good, or else. The supporting characters don't seem to know who they are, with their decisions furthering the story but not making much character sense. Still, for a children story it seems to be more willing to show the consequences and costs of power than most.

Fairy Navigator Runa, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand


Kenneth Sepeti said...


Prospero's Manga said...

What. What?

Got a question I can help you with?

Kureinatsu said...

nice blog... keep up the good work..