Sugar Princess: Skating to Win, Vol. 1

Hisaya Nakajo, Author, Hisaya Nakajo, Illustrator . Viz $8.99 (184p) ISBN 978-1-4215-1930-2

Nakajo (Hana-Kimi ) creates another soft sports manga, this time about figure skating. Maya Kurinoki takes up skating at her local rink and is scouted by an ice-skating coach. When the rink owner plans to shut it down, Maya agrees to pair with professional figure skater Shun Kano in a contest to keep the rink open. Rated all ages, Sugar Princess is true 'tween reading. Young readers will appreciate 14-year-old Maya (who looks and acts more like a naïve 10 or 12 year old) and her altruistic determination. The story itself is cute, peppered with gorgeous young men, and Nakajo does her figure-skating research. But fans of the sport may find that the illustration focuses too lightly on the skating and too heavily on the character dramatization. One of the strengths of all-star sports manga like Slam Dunk or of dance manga like Swan are the action sequences. Nakajo tries, but so far, her series shows little of the balletic movement that lovers of figure skating adore. The pacing may pick up in the next volumes, the skating as well, but given Nakajo's record with Hana-Kimi and her concentration on boy-girl dynamics, this manga may develop as a sugar-sweet story of romance off the ice. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/30/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Paperback - 202 pages - 978-1-4215-1931-9
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