“And Her Seven Knights” – Pretear: The New Legend of Snow White (manga) – 6/10 Disco Balls

Although stepfamilies rarely make as smooth transition as the Bradys, it is possible to successfully blend a family. It depends on how and when you start and what you put in the blender. ~Kela Price

Genre: Mahou Shoujo/ Fantasy/Romance/Drama

Review Status: (Complete (4 Volumes/4 Volumes)

Licensed: This manga is licensed in the US

Art/Animation: The art is typical shoujo- lots of sparkles and bit eyes. But it’s still pleasant to look at.

Summary: Himeno Awayuki is a high school student who’s having trouble adjusting to her new lifestyle. Her mother past away when she was a child, and her father Kaoru married the richest woman in town, Natuse. Kaoru always seems to take Natuse’s side, and Natuse’s two daughters aren’t too fond of Himeno. Himeno’s new life changes when she takes a shortcut to school and runs into a young boy, who takes her to a magical world on the brink of extinction. This world needs the help of a magical princess called the Pretear, who happens to be Himeno herself. (MAL.net)

Review: I look for Magical Girl titles like a lion looks for fruit salad. So when this happened to catch my eye while I was in a fit of boredom, I couldn’t help but be attracted to the promise of fluffy times and romantic drama that this promised. This manages to be a bit more than your standard magical girl fare, which was a pleasant surprise.

This story titles itself as “The New Legend of Snow White”. In a way that’s true- this does manage to bring elements of Snow White into the story. However, this is only in the way that she has seven knights protecting her and her mother is jealous of the attention her father gives her- there are far more elements of Cinderella in this, with her mean stepmother and sisters and her rage-to-riches story.

The overall story is interesting, with a power of making Leafe (a substance similar to The Force) passed from Pretear to Pretear as generations pass. One of the Pretears of past fell into the darkness of her own heart and became the Princes of Darkness. Himeno, the new Pretear, must defeat her and the darkness within herself.

There are still some typical clichés in here, from the angry and standoffish guy being the one who becomes the romantic interest to At least the characters are fairly likeable…. The ones you actually get to know…

Because there are seven knights, there just isn’t time to like them beyond the superficial ‘they’re cute and have tragic backstories’ way. This leads to a somewhat shallow part as Himeno grieves over the loss of one of the knights. The knights that the manga does focus on are the ones that are part of the love triangle that causes much of the drama in the story. They’re also very clichéd personalities, with one being the surly, angry guy and the other being the sweet, understanding one. Himeno ends up being a decently convincing personality- she’s no pushover. Though she’s hurt by her stepsister’s actions, she has no problem standing up for herself. Having a strong (both physically and mentally) heroine was a welcome change.

The story itself suffers from compression, with relationships and characters not fully developed, details not fully explained (how did her friend end up knowing their identities again?), and the general feel of the story being rushed.

Overall, while this was a fun, quick read, I would recommend the anime over this.

Recommended: If you can’t get your hands on the anime. 12+, as there is a shot of her cleavage in a bra in one panel. Her friend also implies that maybe she and her knights were having sex (this isn’t the case at all- it’s just something assumed off of something that Himeno says). The one swear word is replaced by #$*%& symbols.

Other titles you might enjoy: Princess Tutu (anime)
Fushigi Yuugi: Mysterious Play (manga or anime)
Kamichama Karin (manga or anime)
Ceres: Celestial Legend (manga)
Gakuen Alice (manga)
Shugo Chara (manga or anime)
Time Stranger Kyoko (manga)


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