Monday, October 27, 2008

Ultra Maniac

Overall Rating: A-
Summary: Created by Wataru Yoshizumi, the romantic comedy series follows seventh-grader Ayu Tateishi, a tennis club member, and her friend Nina Sakura, a transfer student from the magical kingdom who is actually a witch. Ayu is a well-adjusted 7th grade student. She is the best female tennis player and one of the most popular girls in the school, but she has trouble staying cool after she meets Nina.

Ayu and Nina meet when Ayu runs into Nina crying on one of the school benches outside. Nina explains she has lost something very important, and that's why she's freaking out. Ayu, being the nice and awesome girl that many protagonists of shojo seem to be,  offers to help find the item, but Nina is reluctant to tell her what it is and runs off. After school, Ayu stumbles across a mini-computer underneath the bench where she and Nina met, and assumes it belongs to Nina. After Ayu returns the item, Nina is exstatic, and keeps referring to a "big secret" she wants to tell Ayu, but is unsure about.

In order to determine whether she can trust Ayu, Nina begins following her around. Eventually, she decides to tell Ayu that she is a witch from the Magic Kingdom. Ayu is all "Say what?!? I don't believe in magic or fairy tales. I haven't even read Harry Potter!!!" Nina is incredulous and then spoils Book 7 for Ayu. Okay, not really. Instead Nina uses her mini-computer to cast some spells to help Ayu. Unfortunately, they have a nasty habit of going wrong.

For example, when she tries to make Ayu the best tennis player she can be, it turns her into a boy. It turns out that Nina is a failure as a witch, and she has come to Earth to prove to people in the Magic Kingdom that she is worthy of being a witch.

I really enjoyed this one, and highly recommend it. Of course, I'm a huge fan of shojo so it may not be for everyone, but if you like romantic comedy manga with a touch of the supernatural, then this one is great. There are some great scenes where Nina's magic messes things up, and Ayu has to try and deal with them. In the scene I mentioned where she's turned into a boy, she isn't used to being in the body, so even though she's supposedly faster she makes a lot of mistakes. Of course, since this is a shojo, she is very attractive as a boy and all the girls develop a crush on her. Classic.

No comments: