“A Princess In Time” – Time Stranger Kyoko (Manga) – 8/10 Sugar Cubes

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. ~ Harvey MacKay

Genre: Mahou Shoujo/ Fantasy/ Romance

Review Status: Full (3 Volumes/ 3 Volumes)

Licensed: Licensed in the US

Art: Very pretty, very detailed, very pleasing to look at. Overall, excellent quality.

Summary: Suomi Kyoko is the first princess of the 30th century Earth Nation… though she doesn’t seem to like that title at all. Kyoko wants to live a normal life without responsibilities. As her desire to be completely free grew stronger, she discovered that there could be one possibility for her: if her twin sister Ui, asleep from the very day of her birth, could be awakened, she could take Kyoko’s place as the future queen of the Earth. Unfortunately, the only way to wake Ui is finding the twelve God Stones, as well as the twelve Strangers, the persons who can control them. With her two loyal bodyguards, Sakataki and Hizuki, Kyoko sets off on a journey to stop her sister’s enchanted sleep. (From ANN.com)

Review: I’m always wary of short manga, as they have a tendency to fall flat both in story and characterization. Through the first few chapters of this, I thought it would be the same as most other short manga I’ve read. Thankfully, the story quickly developed into something that made me smile and feel for the characters.

While Kyoko originally seemed a tad whiny, she still was overall a very happy character that really cares for her friends and has issues of her own way beyond needing to wake up her sister. Her bodyguards at their worst were merely amusing. Unfortunately, due to the constrained length of this manga, you don’t get too much of most of the other side characters other than two of the first Strangers that she encounters. This is darned shame, because they all looked like they had interesting stories/encounters behind them…. But thinking back on it, going through each one may have become slightly repetitive after a while. And going through them in one blow let the story get to the good parts faster ^.^

So the story? More original than most that get churned out these days! Finding the God Stones takes more thought than “I really need to wake up my sister so please give it to me!”, and at the same time, she has to deal with the problems her friends have. It’s also not like she gets her powers straight off- even she has to prove she’s good enough to have them. Since a major part of the story is the romance, there is the obligatory love triangle (or should I call it a square?), but even so it works itself out in a nice, touching way.

Overall, this is a great story, and nice if you just want a quick read. While the story does suffer a bit from its compression, the mangaka had enough skill to pull out and emphasize what was important to make this one a classic.

Recommended: Sure. I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through magic-land, and I think you would too. It’s also kid-friendly, so don’t be afraid of leaving it out where they can reach 

Other series you might like:
Kamikaze Kaito Jean (manga),
Card Captor Sakura (anime)
Shugo Chara! (anime or manga)),
Gakuen Alice (manga)


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