cover image Shugo Chara! Vol. 1

Shugo Chara! Vol. 1

, . . Del Rey, $10.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-345-49745-1

Popular writing/illustrating duo Peach-Pit (DearS , Rozen Maiden ) begins an inscrutable new series for young girls. Amu Hinamori is a fourth-grader in a new school. She's seen as detached and cool by the rest of the kids, but she just wants to find her place and fit in. One night she wishes she could be somebody else—and when she wakes up finds three eggs in her bed. As the eggs hatch, each one bears a guardian angel for Anu, and each gives her confidence to tackle a new task. The fact that she has three guardian eggs brings Anu to the attention of the school Guardians, a panel of four students that have secret meetings and hold some sort of power over the school. Anu learns from them that most people only have one egg, and in fact there is a prophecy that tells of the coming of one with three eggs. Most of the story is spent setting up the odd cosmology and character roster, with only a few hints at upcoming action (involving an organization called Easter) at the very end. Peach-Pit's visual style is manic, with loads of embellishments and kitsch, but this should have solid appeal for their large fan base. (Mar.)