“A Little Miracle” – Miracle Girls (manga) – 8/10 Snowballs

God touched our hearts so deep inside, our special blessing multiplied.  ~Author Unknown

Mangaka: Nami Akimoto

Genre: Comedy/Romance/Action/Supernatural/Shoujo

Review Status: Complete (9 Volumes/9 Volumes)

Licensed: Formerly licensed by Tokyopop.

Art: It’s utter 90’s shoujo. There are big eyes, lots of sparkles, pretty cluttered panels and the occasional poor layout.

Summary: Meet Toni and Mika-identical twins as different as day and night. Toni is a star athlete, out-going, and popular. Mika is shy, quiet, and academic. Although they look like ordinary junior high school students, when they unite, these twins produce Miracle Powers. Telepathy, teleportation, and magic are all used to help the girls get through the day. Nobody knew about Toni and Mika’s powers until a nosey classmate discovered their secret. Can the twins keep their powers a secret or will they be exposed to the world? (Tokyopop)

Review: I completely admit it- when I was a kid, I was totally into the book series Sweet Valley Twins and tv show Sister, Sister. There were a lot of twin series in the 90’s, and I bought into it hook, line, and sinker. I know that If I watched or read them now, I would probably be disappointed by how bad they really were, seen through the eyes of an adult. What I love about Miracle Girls is that it managed to bring back all that nostalgia and love I had for those series without having to go back and ruin them for myself.

Since it’s an early Tokyopop release, the names of the characters are all Americanized. Tomomi Matsunaga becomes Toni Morgan, Yuya Noda becomes Jackson Neil, and so on, all except for their teacher Mr. Kaegura. It’s very odd, but in a way works for the series because there are very few distinctly Japanese cultural references here, and really could take place somewhere in America. A few times, I forgot and was reminded by the characters referencing Japan.

It starts out as a fairly slice-of-life manga, with the girls using their abilities to get to school on time, get out of class activities, and so on. This backfires when Toni falls in love with a boy at Mika’s school- and their little secret is discovered. From then on, this becomes an action manga, with the girls getting mixed up in some pretty shady plots involving royalty, missing heirs, and a scientist that would like nothing more than to get his hands on them. It’s pretty standard, plot-wise, as unbelievable as it can get but good fun if you aren’t taking it seriously. There’s some hokey science at work and some amazing coincidences that set off a lot of things. And of course, the relationship d-r-a-m-a.

What was nice is that the story deviates from some of the standard shoujo clichés. One of the sisters gets a boyfriend right off the bat! The incidents and adventures they end up in are realistic for the first half, and the science teacher is not only hilarious, but gets a girl himself(!). Too bad Mr. Kimura ends up a superfluous character most of the time- it would have been interesting to see him and his backstory more, or had him used in a better way than he sometimes was. The characters show some development, as much as can be expected for this kind of story, which is rather nice.

There are flaws in the story and characterization, but this still managed to get quite a few laughs out of me, something that I was really surprised by.

Overall, this is something for the 90’s nostalgic in you.

Recommended: 7+. If they’re old enough to read Sweet Valley Twins, they’re old enough to read this!

Other titles you might enjoy:

I’ve got nothing at the moment. Sorry!

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