SHUGO CHARA! (Shugo Kyara!, “Protective/Guardian Characters!”) ????????? • Peach-Pit • Del Rey (2007-ongoing) • Kodansha (Nakayoshi, 2006-ongoing) • 9+ volumes (ongoing) • Shôjo Magical Girl Fantasy • 13+ (brief sexual situations)
Magical girl manga generally focus on one of two things, love or self-esteem, and Shugo Chara! is one of the latter. Amu is a tough elementary school tomboy who secretly wants to show people her sensitive side. When she prays to her guardian angel “Please give me the courage to be reborn as the person I want to be,” she wakes up to find three easter eggs in her bed, which hatch into three fairies, the Shugo Chara (guardian characters). Each one can grant her different powers, making her more athletic, more artistic, more social, etc; her newfound abilities attract the attention of the elite, popular students called the Guardians, but there’s also an evil scheme afoot with bad guys seeking precious magical artifacts, and spreading “X Eggs,” which cause people to lose faith in their dreams. As always, Peach-Pit’s work relies more on superficial drawing ability than any underlying ideas, but the art is good and sparkly and there are nice scenes involving the chibi Shugo Chara, who have personalities of their own.
** (two stars)
Today’s winner is Michael R. of New York! Congratulations, Michael!
I’m also proud to announce the first winner who has linked to us and sent us her photo, qualifying her to receive five more manga! Soleil C. of California will be getting five more yaoi manga in the mail (normally I wouldn’t say what kind of manga someone asked for, but Soleil, it seems from your photo that you wouldn’t mind ):
Stay tuned for more manga reviews and fabulous prizes!