Manga of the Month: February

Saint Tail by Megumi Tachikawa

Saint Tail is a short, fun, and a little bit romantic magical girl series. Meimi, alter ego Saint Tail, and her friend Seira, a nun-in-training, spend their time much like wannabe Robin Hoods. Seira finds out what happened and Saint Tail steals back that which has been stolen from the practitioners. However, any good thief must have a rival desperate to catch them. Most of the city, and especially Asuka Jr., think Saint is a menacing phantom thief on the loose. Of course Asuka Jr. has no idea that his classmate, who maybe he is getting a crush on, and the famous thief, who he is also falling for, are the very same girl. Add in some great characters like Sawatari the school’s newspaper man, Asuka’s famous father, and Meimi’s off beat parents for spice. Megumi’s artwork is very charming and the very innocent romance playing out between Meimi and Asuka couldn’t be more appealing. Saint Tail is easily one of the best magical girls!

Yankee-kun to Megane-chan by Miki Yoshikawa

I was sold on Yankee-kun to Megane-chan by the name alone. And I was not disappointed. When I later learned that Miki Yoshikawa had been Mashima Hiro’s assistant it gave me some insight into style and tone of the manga while still retaining a distinct impression that this a unique work. If you like the style of Rave Master you will also enjoy Yankee-kun to Megane-chan’s art.

Shinagawa Daichi is famous for being one of the biggest delinquents at the school. One day Daichi is trying to have smoke on the toilet when his female class representative, Hana Adachi, bursts into the restroom forcing him on the school trip. Although Hana seems like a model class president it turns out she used to be an even bigger punk than Daichi and dumber than him to boot. As part of her new reformed image she is trying to be the ideal student president and solve her classmates’ problems. Soon Hana is dragging Daichi into her bizarre plans as well. Daichi begins to have a crush on Hana but can never figure out if she likes him or not.

The characters are quite charming and well suited for comedy. Daichi and Hana play off each other quite well. Daichi is the prefect straight man to Hana’s insane worldview. Miki Yoshikawa also has a very good grasp of just how long to build up a joke before setting off the punchline. The supporting characters are just as engaging, especially the ultra cute in a punk fashion, Rinka Himeji. I find Rinka intensely amusing and she has her own unique reality that complements Hana’s. There is also a cute little love story between Daichi and Hana that is somewhat slow to develop but that is sort of the nature of romantic comedies. Still Miki shows her ability to take the best of shojo and shonen and fuse them into something great.

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