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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Crown - originally written on 16 Jan, updated 12 May

Brief Storyline: An orphan girl is suddenly grabbed from her part time job by her long lost brother, Ren, who, with his good friend, Jake, has come to protect her. Apparently they are royalty and targets of a deadly plot to obtain the throne.

The guys are of course bishi (first things first eh? ;p) and I'm pretty sure those who loved Gakuen Heaven would have a field day with this one too (it being by the same artist). The drawing overall is good, although there are some unfilled in eyes and other parts in scenes here and there. In the action scenes, the backgrounds are drawn in rather more detail to help in understanding what is happening. The guys all look rather different so it is easy to tell them apart.

The author and the artist are different and of opposite sexes. Interesting. So, I'm not sure if that colors my judgement that it is not as girly girl as other shojo, besides the "hot guys" (quoted from the author's words) and silly shojo girl. The last few pages give a tiny bit of entertaining insight into this collaboration.

The girl is, as mentioned, somewhat silly, and a bit too sweet, naive and is more like a little pet or elementary school child than a high schooler. Some of her expressions are rather dramatic and cringeworthy. The guys hold much of the story with their skill and action as mercenary soldiers, in protecting the girl from danger but the girl also has a special natural "talent".

A bit bloodthirsty as quite a few people lose their lives. Not as innocent in this respect as most shojo. The two are really merciless. I suppose it is a life or death fight, but still, a more sanitized storyline would have them solve it another way I suppose, but then again, not everything can be sanitized.

The characters have chemistry and there are a few humourous moments in between killings. :) Ok, ok, it is after all a shojo so one isn't expecting fantastic violence or gore and I believe the creators were going after a comedic feel as well. Thus, there are some really cheesy moments played out and some strange scenes. There are also some OTT emotional moments that don't seem to quite gel with the merciless bloodthirsty atmosphere but probably help to make it more shojo than shonen.

Possible Spoiler
The relationship between the brother and sister is ambiguous, and from comments I've read it seems I'm not the only one to get the insinuations. Some feel it's an incest tease but a few predict that there may be a twist there although in volume two there is not much further indication/development of this, especially if you see the first few pages (the weird scene I was referring to).

The guys' relationship also have slight shonen ai overtones in some of the scenes, although I would say that it is rather minor (well, the artist does do this genre). The story is also starting to develop a slight very much reverse harem feeling at the end, with the two bodyguards already (Jake and Ren, her brother) and now another guy, Chrondrite Condor (interesting name yeah?) probably interested in Mahiro. At the end of volume two, there's another guy to join the harem!

I find Mahiro even more unbelievable when this cute little supposedly sweet silly girl sees her Jake and Ren killing people and things blowing up and she is completely unfazed. Nor is she fazed when she is almost killed. Strange.

An aside - the volume one in my hand is this yellow cover one. Is there really a blue colored cover?

My Rating:
Story: B
Art: B
Recommended? Eye candy - quite a few cool bishies. Storyline is atypical and rather fast paced, action orientated, with bits of comedy and unexpected twists.

Licensed by Go!Comi

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Ins and outs

Would like:
Ultimate Venus Vol.5
A.I Revolution Vols 5 and upwards
Possibly Skip Beat Vol. 16 and upwards

On offer:

1. Pet Shop of Horrors Vol. 4
2. Pet Shop of Horrors Vol. 9
3. Tokyo Pet Shop of Horrors Vol.1
4. Tokyo Pet Shop of Horrors Vol. 2
5. Godchild Vol. 2
6. Godchild Vol. 3
7. Dazzle Vol. 1
8. Dazzle Vol. 2
9. Dazzle Vol. 8
10. Dazzle Vol. 9
11. Special A Vol.5
12. La Corda D'Ore Vol. 6
13. Tail of the Moon Vol. 11 and 13
14. Her Majesty's Dog Vol. 11
15. Mugen Spiral Vol. 1
16. Your and my secret

Email me at mangaobsess(at)simplypeaceable.com if you are interested