Spellbound 1

Tomoko Taniguchi – Fanboy Entertainment – 2001 – 0 volumes

I’m partial to the stories of Tomoko Taniguchi. She had a number of volumes published in English by CPM. Some were better than others, but I was a huge fan of the girliest of her volumes, like Call Me Princess and Aquarium. I’m pretty sure nobody remembers her but me at this point, but I always liked her books. I didn’t realize that this had come out from another publisher, so when I found out, I had to track down a copy. It’s a 32-page comic that cost me a whole dollar.

This is the first chapter of an incomplete story drawn specifically for the American market. Strangely, my copy has a variant cover drawn by Chiho Saito, of Revolutionary Girl Utena fame. This was presumably commissioned for the American market, too, and is a strange touch. It’s a very pretty cover, though.

Sadly, I don’t have much to say about the issue itself. It’s the first chapter of a magical girl series that never got off the ground. A heroine is introduced that isn’t very good at magic, but is slowly trying to learn. There’s a tough mystery woman to look up to, a secret organization, and a romantic interest. All the ingredients are there, and it’s fairly romantic, humorous, and everything a magical girl comic should be. Taniguchi also has very nice, girly art.

But there’s only one chapter of it.

I just learned that all the books I read by Taniguchi were actually written in the very early 90s. Apparently everything she’s done has been published in English, and it’s a little strange that she was asked to do this story ten years after she’d drawn her last series. I don’t have her other books to compare and see if the art changed much over the years.

On the other hand, it makes sense that her other books are from the early 90s. They have that early 90s naive girlishness to them that shoujo manga tend to shed as the decade went on. But she’s worth checking out, and this issue is a fun read if you spot it in a back issue bin somewhere.


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