SUGAR PRINCESS VOL. 1

Posted On October - 14 - 2008
  RELEASED BY:   VIZ MEDIA
  AUTHOR / ART:   HISAYA NAKAJO
  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / B&W
  PAGES:   182
  RATING:   A
  RELEASE DATE:   08/05/2008
  REVIEW DATE:   10/14/2008
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD



From the creator of Hana-Kimi comes a cute new series about a girl with a gift and a boy with a chip on his shoulder and how the two come together against the odds on and off the ice in Sugar Princess.

Maya is one of the nicest girls you’ll ever meet. She takes her little brother skating for the first time. In order to cheer his efforts, she takes his dare and attempts a move she saw on TV the other night watching figure skaters. It seems she has an incredible natural talent. Now it only needs honing. A scruffy looking coach steps up to the plate but he wants her to get his best skater to play ball and coach her so that she can become pairs with the handsome, talented but stand-offish Shun.

It’s a tale about the sweet girl who could. She loves figure skating although she has no knowledge about it. She is immediately appreciative of Shun’s athletic ability. But that doesn’t mean she’ll put up with his attitude. Nevertheless she always strives to see things from the other person’s point of view. When she learns the reason why he’ll only skate singles now, it makes her see Shun in an all new light. Meanwhile Shun is increasingly impressed with her talent, but reluctant to admit it. However the coach sees it and he plans to use it. And it couldn’t come too soon. Someone is threatening to close down the skating rink that all the children Maya has come to know and she herself has come to rely on. She loves the ice, she loves the place and if she has to compete in a skating competition to try to save it – she will!

It’s a charming manga series. Maya is likeable while Shun has just enough of a vulnerable side for readers to want to know more and hope Maya can get through to him. It’s a short series so it doesn’t have much in the way of sub-plots with the exception of the appearance of the figure skater Reina. She wants Shun for her own pairing and doesn’t care for the little novice who has dared to usurp a place Reina feels should belong to her alone. The skating angle is done well, with an obvious love by the manga-ka for the sport and its romantic artistry.  Shojo and skating fans will enjoy Sugar Princess.

Anyone familiar with Hana-Kimi will recognize the art style immediately. Its shojo yet clean, with a good use of white space to help the characters and the moment’s visualized stand out.  Plus the artist has added drawings of her favorite figure skaters as a bonus within the manga.


IN SUMMARY:
Sugar Princess is a sweet natured shojo series from the creator of Hana-Kimi. A heroine steps up to skate in the hopes of opening up a boy’s wounded heart and achieve both their dreams in this charming new manga.

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