Manga Monday: Rocking Manga Style

Published on June 9th, 2009

So yeah, it is blatantly Tuesday and I am made of fail. However, I spent a large portion of yesterday afternoon with my head in the toilet blowing chunks. Oddly enough my vomiting was not hang-over induced, but none the less it was a painful and typically unpleasant experience. I did (several times in fact) attempt to post my Manga Monday only to find that looking at the computer screen for more than 30 seconds sent me racing back to the bathroom. Yet the talk of needing to throw up, and things being particularly unpleasant, links quite nicely into my originally planned Manga Monday.

Courtney Love and Avril Lavigne, ever heard of them? Well one of them happens to look like the queen of the harpies, be Kurt Cobain’s ex-wife, and generally looks like a crack whore. The other is a rather squawky singer of the pop-punk verity that looks like hot topic threw up on her. What do both have in common? Well they happen to have their own manga! Courtney Love worked along side Ai Yazawa (artist behind Nana) on her manga, known as Princess Ai. It screams cliché and follows the story of a princess from a different land who ended up in modern day Tokyo, falls in love with asinger, sprouts wings (as you do), and turns out to be a super-mega-awesome singer herself with a mysterious heart shaped box locket (heart shaped box- get it?).

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Despite it’s cliché it still is a cute little romance. It is nothing spectacular or compelling as far as story goes, but it is only 3 books long so it really is hardly going to break the bank. It does however possess a single saving grace: Ai Yazawa, who has produced two of my top 5 mangas. Her style is amazing and the art work in Princess Ai is just as beautiful, all set in a lovely gothic Lolita style.

Have I somehow not convinced you to go out and buy this manga? FEAR NOT! You can actually download the first chapter to your iPhone with the Princess Ai application…for free.

Now unlike Princess Ai, Avril Lavigne wasn’t a co-creator of the manga Make 5 Wishes, but was merely the star of the book. The story focuses on a down and out high school girl, Hana, who is unpopular, shy, and has Avril Lavigne as an imaginary friend. Hana stumbles upon a website that allows her to have 5 wishes. The manga follows Hana as she learns that you have to be careful what you wish for.

The art work, while obviously holding some reference to manga is produced by Camilla d’Errico, an artist from Canada and it has strong notes of Western style comic artwork as well. While I am glad this didn’t take the ‘romance’ path, it isn’t exactly a ground breaking manga and at only two volumes, I wouldn’t expect it to be. It does however make a great gift for younger manga noobs.

While I am aware neither of these are the pinnacle of good manga, it does show how main stream it’s becoming. Either way, I won’t rest happily until I see a manga staring Megan Fox and in a maids uniform. Word.

Hollie ‘pheonix still looks cute when she vomits’ Bennett

Hollie@comicimpact.com