Synopsis: Hana is a little girl who is spending her life as a hermit. She barely talks to her parents, and at school she refuses to say even one word. The only way Hana spends time with people is by talking to her imaginary friend, Avril Lavigne, and by creating personas online to interact with the people she knows in real life (Bryan, a boy she likes, is into videogames, so she finds him online and talks to him while claiming to be another guy working on game designs). She is miserable in her life, and sees an odd online ad that promises a free mystery gift - she orders it and a small demon arrives promising her five wishes. (Volume 2 available July 3, 2007)
I read this comic assuming that it would be horrible. I was surprised by the dark story, and the rich artwork. The plot resembles a children's story from Neil Gaiman. I was also pleased at how little of the story actually involved Avril Lavigne - Hana likes Avril's music a lot, and created an imaginary friend that resembles Avril. This imaginary Avril acts as Hana's conscience, but her helpful advice is slowly being drowned out by the promises coming from the wish-demon.
As usual, any story involving free wishes has some lessons for the main character to learn. Hana's first wish turns out ok. She wishes that Bryan, the boy she likes, will notice her in a good way and she'll end up in his arms. This wish is fulfilled by her tripping near him in school - he catches her, asks if she's ok, and complements her eyes. Unfortunately, she makes her second wish without clarification and ends up destroying the only congenial relationship she has. As the first book ends (it's the only one out right now) she has made her third and fourth wishes, and the next book will see how they are fulfilled.
The wish-demon even comments on the different lessons Hana is learning, and it is difficult to tell exactly what kind of trickster we are dealing with. He begins to use Hana's computer to destroy the online personas that she has created to interact with her schoolmates. It's hard to tell if the wish-demon is intent on wreaking havoc for fun, or if he's actually on the good side. I suppose this will be revealed in the later books.
Like I said, I didn't expect to be giving a good review to this book at all. The down side of this book is that while it is lavishly colored and illustrated, it is relatively short in relation to other manga books, so you're getting less pages for your money. That being said, I would still recommend at least reading it. Hopefully the upcoming books will keep the standards as high as this one did.