Monday, September 01, 2008

Manga Monday: Sugar Princess

Sugar Princess (Volume 1)
Hisaya Nakajo
I really liked Hisaya Nakajo's last manga Hana-Kimi, so I thought I'd give her new book a try. Sugar Princess follows Maya Kurinoki, a girl who is scouted while taking her brother to the skating rink. Never having skated before in her life, Maya is able to mimic a double axel from what she saw on TV well enough to capture the interest of an eccentric skating coach. After a series of discouraging incidents, Maya nevertheless decides to give figure skating a try, wanting to be as graceful as Shun Kano, an award-winning skater who isn't all that impressed with Maya upon their first meeting. But Maya tries really hard and improves exponentially in her skating, meeting every new challenge that greets her. It's fun to see Maya grow in her sport and impress those around her - you can't help but root for her when she's trying so hard. The characters involved in this book are certainly ones we've seen before, and we can all see where the dynamic between Maya and Shun is going, have to give Nakajo credit for making the journey to those moments extremely enjoyable. I know what's coming, but the pacing and the way it plays out make for a riveting read nonetheless. I hope there are a few curve balls ahead in the series, but if not, we still get to enjoy Nakajo's fantastic art in a fun new title.

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