Sakura Hime 3

September 24, 2011

Arina Tanemura – Viz – 2011 – 8+ volumes

I always feel a little bad when I can’t quite muster the enthusiasm for a genuinely great series like House of Five Leaves, the review I wrote before this one, when I know I’m going to gush embarrassingly over something like this, which ran in Ribon magazine and is aimed at, like, 9-year-old girls. House of Five Leaves is the better book. Sakura Hime is easier to gush over. Especially for me, because I can’t help myself when it comes to girls’ comics.

I still haven’t completely forgiven Aoba for his nonsensical betrayal of Sakura in the first couple volumes, but the plot moves past that and, for some reason, makes the two of them a couple. That’s a very unusual move in a manga like this, and after a rough patch at the beginning, most of this book is spent with the two of them being over-the-top lovey-dovey. The end of the volume implies that the plot is moving in a different direction, and Tanemura maybe just wanted to get the romance out of the way to get to the meat of the story here. I can’t blame her, and honestly, I’m a little excited to see where she’s going with this.

The action part of the plot is still a little sketchy at the moment, though we meet up with a character who was important to Sakura in the past and threatens to upset everything once it’s settled down. This character also implies that Sakura will likely be better off with “her own kind,” and it’s implied that there are many other youko. I love this fairytale-like aspect of the story, so I’m very excited to see these new characters next volume.

The character I’m most curious about, however, is Asagiri. I suspect she’ll have a Finn Fish-like role in the plot, though maybe not necessarily evil.

It’s easy to like all the characters in this series, honestly, and another great part of this volume was finally getting to meet Hayate properly. He and Aoba are very friendly, and the relationship between him and Kohaku is fleshed out a smidge more. Nothing you couldn’t already guess, but it’s super-cute stuff anyway. I’m also a big fan of Fujimurasaki. Not the shadowy evil character I thought he was going to be, he seems genuinely interested in Sakura’s welfare, and he’s also fairly silly and a little romantic to boot.

There’s all sorts of wonderful stuff in this series. So far, I’m liking it just as much as Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, which is my favorite of Tanemura’s series. The romance is nice, and I like that it’s not the focus, because I know that Tanemura can do really fun action series, too. And I’m fond of the folk tale aspects of the story. I can’t wait to read more.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

2 Responses to “Sakura Hime 3”

  1. […] Fall 2011–At First Glance Share this:EmailFacebookStumbleUponTwitterPrintDiggRedditLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to […]

  2. […] also heard of Sakura Hime and I have been tempted to purchase a copy. Maybe I […]

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