PRINCESS PRINCESS (VOL. 2) [ADVANCE REVIEW]

Posted On February - 4 - 2007
  PUBLISHED BY:   DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING
  ART/AUTHOR:   MIKIYO TSUDA  
  FORMAT/COLOR:   JAPANESE FORMAT / BW
  PAGES:   174
  RATED:   16+
  RELEASE DATE:   02/07/2007
  REVIEW DATE:   02/05/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD
 


Kouno has had a lot to deal with since being selected as one of the three “Princesses” at his all-boys school. Along with Shihoudani and Mikoto he has to fight off boys crushing near and far while trying to raise school spirit and get through exams. Things get complicated when a girl shows up to confront Kouno and win his heart. The problem? She’s not just any ordinary girl!

This vibrant series goes for a great mix of drama and off-beat laughs in this second volume. When Kouno has to deal with the unwanted advances of a girl Shihoudani goes to some unexpected lengths to help out his fellow Princess. The comedy is fun and has a lot of yaoi tongue-in-cheek moments. Laughs aside though, this manga volume gets serious by going through some major character development with all 3 guys/princesses. We learn one about each of their backgrounds and family life. We learn (as they do) that they have more in common than they could have ever realized. There is still a lot of zany comedy throughout the book such as when Shihoudani and Kouno get to meet Mikoto’s family. Therefore even though there is some angst present in this volume, it never gets you down but tugs on the heart strings instead.

As this story progresses it’s starting to show a much deeper character exploration. The touching stories of the three boy princesses are bittersweet. This kind of deft blend of comedy with soul sweet moments reminds me of the kind of caliber of writing you’ll find in stories like Fruits Basket. Princess Princess isn’t just some comedy but also has some emotionally moving moments that enrich the characters and the story immensely. The art work with its indelibly confident style and wonderful expressiveness adds to the immensely enjoyable reading experience.

Extras in this manga volume include an afterword, special theaters which are side stories. One features the main characters and the next the student council. There are also some 4-panel comic theaters to enjoy and don’t forget to take off the dust jacket because there’s a comical story “Prince Prince” on the book cover underneath.

IN SUMMARY:
Princess Princess shines with attractive art and a subtly touching story bursting with zany comedy. Fans of Fruits Basket will want to check out this manga with its deft dramatic undercurrents and appealing main characters.

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