Yumi Tsukirino / Chisato Seki – Viz – 2012 – 5 volumes
Again, this series is likely intended for a very early reader, as the stories are short and the concepts are very basic. Most of what goes on in this volume are “attacks” from a nefarious cloud that the group of puppy friends has to drive off. They also eat a lot of sweets and go on little adventures to find treasures, like a clock that stops time when it stops, or the key to Cinnamoroll’s treasure chest. One story even has them visiting Cinnamoroll’s unicorn friends.
Some of the concepts are cute and a little fun. The key to the treasure chest is contained in the roots of a flower that only blooms at night, and in order to find the right one, the friends have to answer riddles (which are very easy questions about the other stories in this volume). The story about a clock that can stop time when its gears are jammed is also kind of cute. I also have a fondness for the story where the group gets to go see unicorns.
Overall though, this and Happy Happy Clover are my least favorite of the VizKids books I’ve read. There’s not a whole lot to them, and again, while they’re intended for the very young, there’s not a whole lot here to entertain anyone who can handle an even slightly more challenging read.
There was one panel where a really cute bear sneers though, which I was entertained by.
I would recommend the Pokemon manga, which is a solid and entertaining read for younger readers, or the series Leave it to Pet. Both of those are a lot of fun. This one’s cute, and might be good especially for very young girls that are into sweets and flowers and whatnot. It’s fairly gender-neutral, but probably leans more towards little girls. It is a Sanrio character, after all.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.
Yumi Tsukirino – Viz – 2011 – 1+ volume
I had no idea this was a Sanrio character until I was done reading the volume. Interestingly, the book isn’t marketed as such. The artist, Yumi Tsukirino, has another manga published in English, the super-cutey Magical Pokemon Journey. I’m not sure why I remembered this immediately when I read her name on the volume. It made me a little sad.
Anyway, this book reminds me of a cross between the other VizKids books Happy Happy Clover (a book about squirrels and other friends of the forest) and Choco Mimi (a 4-panel series about two very fashionable girls with cute clothes and accessories). Basically, in Cinnamoroll, a little white dog is born up in the clouds, and after wandering why he was so different from other cloud children, he falls to Earth while learning to fly and meets a bunch of other dogs that live in a bakery. Said dogs include Mocha, Chiffon, and Cappuccino. There are a bunch of friends, and all of them have varying personalities, but it doesn’t really matter to the short stories.
One thing I liked about this was that the short chapters did string together and form stories, unlike the other VizKids volumes, which are often one-shot chapters. I think one-shot chapters are good for kids, but some continuity, like this, is a welcome change. The story about how Cinnamoroll fell down from the clouds is the longest in the volume, but there are other stories about how the gang finds a treasure map and goes hunting in the park, how they fend off an angry cloud attack, and even one where Cinnamoroll and another character fall into what appears to be reality.
It’s basically a lot of cuteness without a whole lot of substance. Most of the storylines are easily resolved, and they frequently end with a bunch of candy raining down on the characters, as children’s stories do. I preferred the slightly more clever Leave it to Pet to this series, which at least had some clever characters that were related to the recycling themes. Choco Mimi was a little better than this one too, simply because the characters had more personality and humor mixed in with their commercial cuteness. Cinnamoroll is fairly low-impact and is probably aimed at a much younger audience, however. It’s easy to see it in the hands of even the youngest reader. Definitely not for me, or any reader that can handle more than basic storytelling, but probably a good start.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.