Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura, Vol. 1

Arina Tanemura. Viz, $9.99 paper (184p) ISBN 978-1-4215-3882-2
Any fan of Tanemura (Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne; The Gentleman's Alliance +) knows to expect hugely starry-eyed young heroines granted unexpected magical powers and told of their unusual and important secret fates while falling in love. Fourteen-year-old Princess Sakura is about to enter into an arranged marriage when she discovers she's the heir of the demon-fighting Moon Princess Kaguya. Her duty is now to battle evil spirits while navigating her new role as betrothed to a prince, accompanied by a miniature spirit, an old wise woman, a clumsy ninja girl, and a talking frog. Set during the Heian period (ninth–12th centuries), the story provides lots of flowing robes until Sakura changes into her period-inappropriate demon fighter costume. It strongly resembles a schoolgirl uniform, just like the outfit of the obvious influence, Sailor Moon. The characters have only three expressions: happy, determined, or clueless/surprised. Tanemura's works are almost perfect examples of generic shojo, and the thing that sets this stew of fable, royal intrigue, and battle by mystic sword apart from many other magical girl manga is the resolve of the princess and the hypnotically ornate artwork. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Comics
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