GRAPHIC NOVEL
Mamotte! Lollipop
Volume 1

Author: Michiyo Kikuta
Artist: Michiyo Kikuta
Tanoshima
RRP: 5.99, US $10.95
ISBN-13: 978 0 099 50641 6
ISBN-10: 0 09 950641 6
Ages: 13+
Available 01 March 2007


Nina is your average schoolgirl who has come to that point in life where love becomes important. Whilst wondering when her dream boy will turn up, two drop straight out of the sky. Both cute and available, they have come to the human world for their magician's exams, which involve protecting Nina. Now Nina has her hands full, two cute boys but which one of them is destined to be hers...?

Mamotte Lollipop is a Shojo manga from Michiyo Kikuta. Shojo is the subset of manga deliberately aimed at a young, female audience. So you pretty much know what you're going to get - predominantly a story which will focus on comedy and romance.

That said, the manga has a lot of charm. Nina is portrayed as a young woman looking for love but not at any cost. She has a mind of her own, which is just as well as the two young wizards Ichi and - no not Scratchy, though that would have been funnier - Zero have very different temperaments. I presume that they are representative of the two opposing traits that young women look for in a partner. Zero is introspective and sensitive whilst Ichi is the dangerous Johnny Depp of the pair. Guys, we never stood a chance in being all things to all girls.

Although, the story is supposed to be humorous, the book has some unexpected humour which I presume is a consequence of differing cultures. The reason that Ichi and Zero have to look after Nina is that she has accidentally swallowed their magic pearl, I guess she thought that there wasn't enough to make a necklace.

The artwork is full of clean lines and what little nudity there is, is played for comic effect. The whole manga positively exudes exuberance in both its story and its art.

This first volume is well constructed and contains the first five chapters of the story as well as a bonus story from Medical Magic, another manga by Kikuta. There are translation notes and cultural references explained, and the book concludes with a preview, albeit in Japanese, of Volume Two.

My only concern is that the book is aimed at a specific audience so may not have the mass appeal that it deserves.

Charles Packer

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