December 5, 2004
This is a volume I’ve been wanting to pick up forever (not only because of the premise or the fact that it was drawn by Ai Morinaga, but the cover’s SO CUTE), but it’s the kind of thing where it disappeared from shelves shortly after I passed it up and didn’t reappear for a long time. I just recently got ahold of it, and it was definitely worth the wait.
What I had heard about it was that it had some sort of ugly duck scenario where the main character was ugly, but then somehow was magically turned into a beautiful prince, and we’d have to wait and see how this affected his relationship with his crush. I read that and thought it sounded interesting things. What they don’t tell you are the awesome things about it, like the kid’s also really short and a huge geek as well as ugly and has sisters that just constantly tell him how sinfully ugly he is, how the change is part magic, part his family paying for plastic surgery after a crash, and how the magical parts have to do with a dog that looks exactly like him and is owned by his crush. The dog’s some sort of bad magician that fell victim to a curse and has to stay a dog. The magic he cast on the kid wears off if he has any lustful thoughts about the dog’s owner and the kid’s crush however, because the dog wants that girl for himself once his curse is lifted.
The entire series is played up for comedy and not angst and drama, which makes it that much better. Although the kid could angst up a storm about being ugly and angst some more whenever he got near the girl, his family could be a nonentity while he’s bullied by kids at school, and some sort of divine fairy godmother could be the one that transforms him. Well, thankfully this isn’t the case. Absolutely EVERYTHING’S exaggerated a great deal for comic effect, and exaggerated well, for that matter, because it didn’t strike me as too over-the-top. It was just extremely funny. Funny enough that you didn’t feel too bad for the poor main character being beat up, because somehow he deserves it for being such an unforgivable geek.
I’m waiting till I see the second volume (which has also been out for awhile, but has also been awol), which will make or break the series for me, I think. At the moment it’s pretty damn good, but it would ruin it were it to keep going along the same lines and not introduce any new twists or quirks. Here’s hoping.