MURDER PRINCESS • Sekihiko Inui • Broccoli Books (2007) • MediaWorks (Dengeki Teioh, 2004-2007) • 2 volumes • Shônen Fantasy Action Comedy • 13+ (graphic violence, brief mild sexual situations)
Alita, the elegant princess of Forland, accidentally bonks heads with samurai-sword-wielding bounty hunter Falis, and the two women switch souls. Now the boisterous bounty hunter (inside the princess’ body) and her inhuman friends (a motorcycle-riding skeleton and a Frankenstein’s monster type) must help defend the kingdom from mad scientists, mutants and monsters, while the princess (inside Falis’ body) becomes friends with the bounty hunter and makes tea. (”Royal life is pretty dull,” muses Falis, but she’s far from the most destructive manga character unleashed inside a castle.) Inui’s stylized, cute artwork is the best feature of this short and tame action-adventure comic. More care is put in the art than the story, and there are some nice pin-ups by Atsushi Suzumi (Venus Versus Virus), Sasakishonen (Lunar Legend Tsukihime) as well as a two-page American comics parody in the back of volume 2.
** (two stars)
Today’s winner is Jennifer A. of Michigan! Congratulations, Jennifer! I hope you like manga ’cause that’s what you’re getting! I’m also proud to present the photo of another manga winner, Michael from New York:
Glad you liked volumes 1-5 of Negima, Michael! I’ll be sending you volumes 6-10 on Thursday!