Shugo Chara! #3
By Avi Weinryb
April 14, 2008 - 12:52
Random House/Del Rey Manga
In the world of Shugo Chara!, schoolchildren and adults are worlds apart. Amu Hinamori is a young student at Seiyo Elementary. She is filled with dreams and hope for the future. The same cannot be said for her teacher, a man who steals her most prized possessions from her. Amu is lucky enough to be the owner of some eggs. But not just any eggs – these are magical. When Amu first discovered the eggs, she was shocked when they hatched, revealing guardian characters. These little sprites can provide help and guidance, and when Amu ‘character changes’ with them, she can gain new powers and abilities.
Amu’s teacher, Nikaidou-sensei, is not really a teacher at all! It is revealed that he is an employee of the evil and mysterious Easter Corporation. He seeks to use the eggs for his own nefarious purposes. It is up to Amu and an unexpected group of allies to assist in retrieving the goods before disaster may strike.
The Peach-Pit team succeeds in crafting a youth oriented manga. The non-stop flow of action guarantees that the book is not easy to put down. There is nearly never a dull moment. A reliance on comedy ensures that the book can be enjoyed multiple times. When a television fortune-teller is conscripted to aid the protagonist’s team, and also offer her non-existent driving skills, the adventure gets kicked up a notch as the car goes careening around corners.
Characters are not incredibly developed, but since an emphasis is put on the plot, it does not seem to really matter. The various figures found in this volume are largely two-dimensional.
The same cannot be said for the artwork. (Alright, technically it’s two dimensional as well, but come on…) Each page bursts with action, and the artists consistently alter the page’s perspective, keeping readers involved in deciphering the volume’s development. Characters are illustrated in the typical manga style, but the art is consistent and only serves to enhance the story.
Shugo Chara! would make a great addition to a young girl’s manga library. It would be the perfect way to wean a youngster off a Betty and Veronica-only diet. Any male over the age of twelve does not want to be caught dead holding a volume from the series. The book won’t be very exciting, and the cover art would cause the public to brand the poor guy as a pervert.
Shugo Chara! #3