GRAPHIC NOVEL
Mamotte! Lollipop
Volume 3

Author: Michiyo Kikuta
Artist: Michiyo Kikuta
Tanoshima
RRP: 6.99, US $10.95
ISBN: 978 0 099 50677 5
Ages: 13+
Available 06 September 2007


Nina has accidentally swallowed a magic pearl (no sniggering at the back), which forms part of the wizards exam. Zero and Ichi have been sent to earth to guard her, so what's a girl going to do with two boys (I said no sniggering). The gang is enlarged by Sun, who is occasionally frightening, and her friend Forte, who likes to cross dress. To complicate the romantic side of the story, Rokka is in love with Ichi, even though she is only five years old. She, in turn, is supported by Go, her servant who will apparently do anything for her. And so the story continues...

Mamotte! Lollipop by Michiyo Kikuta is a manga that is so sweet that it will have your teeth falling out of your mouth just reading it. Its very loose plot is little more than an excuse for love and romance and, lets face it, there is nothing wrong with either of those.

Volume Three contains a set of stories so sweet that they are positively mawkish. One of the things that I really loved about the book were all the little asides, which creates an intimacy between reader and creator. Kikuta drops in random and personal panels to tell the reader a little more about each character and even what she felt about individual covers. She even pops in sections in which she answers some of the fans questions, and some joke cartoons which I'm sure were funnier before translation.

The plot, well lets not get ahead of ourselves... The book is a relatively innocent slice of love fest, so don't look for any deeper meanings or the sudden death of any of the characters. The first story in the book illustrates the point. The gang are all having a meal when a love potion is dropped into the food, letting all the wrong people fall in love with each other, all very light and fluffy. Of course there is the ongoing plot of Ichi and Zero trying to protect Nina and the pearl she swallowed. You'd think that she would have passed the thing by now. Haven't these people heard of laxatives?

If I had to put forward a criticism of the book it would be in the area of character design, which is not so diverse that you can really tell a lot of the characters apart. A lot of the designs are very androgynous, making even telling the sex of some of the characters difficult.

Even if the story isn't for you, you can't deny that the publisher, Tanoshimi, has put out a class product. The book includes sections on honorifics, translation notes and a preview of Volume Four.

Charles Packer

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