"A Turn Of Fortune" – Mistress Fortune (manga) – 4/10 Pools

I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value. ~Hermann Hesse

Genre: Romance/Comedy/Fantasy/Supernatural

Review Status: Complete (1 Volume/1 Volume)

Licensed: Yes, this manga is licensed in the US.

Art: Very, very typical shoujo. With super-big eyes, small noses, thin, clean lines, this fails to distinguish itself stylistically from any other shoujo art out there.

Summary: Fourteen-year-old Kisaki Tachikawa has psychic powers. She works for the PSI, a secret government agency that fights aliens. She’s in love with her partner Giniro, but PSI won’t allow operatives to get involved. Just when Kisaki thinks she may be getting closer to Giniro, she finds out she’s going to be transferred to California! (from back cover)

Review: Kisaki, a teenage agent with the PSI, is in love with her partner. But how can she confess her attraction when she is forbidden to by the PSI, and has to deal with fighting aliens and Giniros’ own perverted personality? This is a story told in three chapters- the first introductory chapter, the second one where more drama is introduced, and the third with resolution! This also has two bonus chapters to fill out the rest of the manga.

The first chapter consists of Kisaki and Giniro working together to stop one of the EBEs, little aliens that are invading the world. Why? Who knows! However, one is on the attack in town, and they must stop it. You get to see how Kisaki has issues with her powers, and how far she has to catch up to Giniro. Due to a mistaken wish on her part, an EBE is set loose on town. Eventually it’s captured, giving the manga it’s requisite cute mascot. The second one starts out with the EBE having learned to talk and having joined them for various unexplained reasons. The team of Mistress Fortune comes closer together as they deal with yet another EBE, and find a way to communicate outside of the agency. The third, starting out with Kisaki having been called to America, is about how Giniro comes for her, admitting his feelings, and they manage to find a way to talk to his mother who has been in a coma for many years.

This is so very shoujo. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fall into the ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ territory. Kisaki is a very typical shoujo heroine- not very good at what she does, unable to speak her feelings to the guy she likes, and somewhat hot-tempered when it comes to her man. She’s a cookie-cutter of a hundred other shoujo girls. Giniro is a little more perverted with most, and with only three chapters manages to stay out of the cold-hearted stereotype that plagues the genre. To top it off, this is a manga you should never put in front of someone who knows their science. I was both frustrated and annoyed by how this explained things. I won’t go into details, since it would be passable to those who don’t know anything about physics or electromagnetic waves, but this is one to avoid if you know what you’re reading about.

Even the mangaka acknowledges how very mediocre this manga is in the back notes. Even though Arina Tanemura says that it was fun to do a majou shoujo for once, she says she might come back to it someday. Most mangaka give bright notes that they had such fun with it and hope to do more on it one day. It’s minor, but very obvious when one has read many of those author notes.

The two side stories are just that: minor stories that are just for fun. The first is about EBE and how it wants to get a nice place to live- and so goes out to find a job. This completely breaks the world that the story is in, since EBE is obviously not human, and yet the PSI is trying desperately to keep these things out of the public eye. It’s rather fun and sweet, but a typical storyline that I see in this genre. The second is about how the two members of team Mistress Fortune are trying to discover whether their team leader is a guy or girl- which can be slightly hard to tell given his very bishie long hair and looks. However, their ways of telling are either very stereotypically masculine (having a messy house) or very culture-specific (how he eats his ramen in the PSI cafeteria). Also somewhat typical in these stories, but still somewhat fun in execution. However, they don’t save the main story from being a mess.

Overall, this wasn’t anything special- I would read something else instead. Preferably her amazing series The Gentlemen’s Alliance or Searching for the Full Moon!

Recommended: No. Um, 13+ because Giniro keeps talking about her breasts and how large they are. In most cases, this is less violent than Looney Tunes, as it tends to be off-screen or you only see the light from the attack.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Gakuen Alice (manga)
Fruits Basket (manga)
The Gentlemen’s Alliance (manga)
Searching for the Full Moon (manga or anime)
Shugo Chara! (manga)
Time Stranger Kyoko (manga)
Kamichu! (anime and manga)


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 00:34:37

    I read that this had some gags of American culture in it, but you didn't mention any of that. Did you notice any of it?


  2. Sweetpea
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 00:59:04

    Nope. I usually don't read manga – especially mahou shoujo manga – expecting them, so unless they were obvious…. I still have it, though, so I'll go back and see if I can catch any.


  3. Hope_In_Song
    Jul 03, 2011 @ 05:03:10

    Interesting review. You rated it lower than I did XD!! Note; Viz has Mistress Fortune's lincense. Maybe TokyoPop had it before, but the copy I own is licensed by Viz Media ^.^'


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