A couple of blogger friends introduced me to manga through the wonderful series Emma and since then my interest has grown. I started a manga collection at my school which proved to be very popular and this has allowed me to read more of it too.
I read the first volumes of two series at the week-end which have little in common apart from the fact that the characters in both have animal characteristics and can therefore turn fully or partly into a specific animal.
Tokyo Mew Mew
Mia Ikumi & Reiko Yoshida
Ichigo is visiting the endangered species exhibition at the museum with Masaya, the boy she is infatuated with, when a odd-feeling earthquake puts an end to their date. What she does not know yet is that during the odd incident, her DNA has just been merged with the DNA of an almost extinct animal,the Iriomote cat. Soon after the incident, she meets Ryou and Keiichiro, who tell her the truth of her new condition. Her new powers will be put to good use; she will protect the Earth from invading aliens . But her first assignment is to find the four other girls who have been also affected ; Café Mew Mew, which Keiichiro manages, becomes their headquarters. Although she is enjoying her new life, she is also struggling to juggle it with her normal life and especially with seeing Masaya.
This is a real fun manga. I found the layout a bit messy at times, and as I am still a bit of a novice as far as manga-reading is concerned so it was a bit frustrating at times but I still really enjoyed it. The characters definitely have the cute factor, and like Sailor Moon we are definitely in the “magical girl” type of story. The characters are endearing, and despite its lack of originality, you’ll definitely be drawn into wanting to read more, I know I did, I am on the 3rd volume now!
At the beginning of this first volume, we meet Cooro as a baby, when he literally falls out of the sky. He is a Plus Anima, a human with the characteristics of an animal, in his case, a crow. We then see him again years later, grown up, as he stumbles across a circus that has a mermaid on display. Through mischief he soon realises that the mermaid is in fact a boy who is a fish +Anima. Cooro rescues Husky and they escape together. On their travels they soon meet two another + Anima: Senri, a bear +Anima, and Nana, a bat + Anima. This first volume’s aim is obviously to introduce the main characters, and it works. We hear enough to want to read more and there are enough questions left unanswered for material for a few more volumes. Fantasy is not really my thing so I didn’t think it’d get into at first but I actually really enjoyed it. The artwork is beautiful, and unlike Tokyo Mew Mew, I found the layout clear and easy to follow. The storyline is packed full of action and humour, and I found the underlying theme of discrimination towards the +Anima quite interesting.