Lizard Prince 1
February 29, 2012
Asuka Izumi – CMX – 2009 – 2 volumes
I bought this immediately when CMX announced they were going out of business based purely on the fact I unashamedly loved the other all ages fantasy manga they released. Kiichi and the Magic Books was great, and I loved Lapis Lazuli Crown, Two Flowers for the Dragon, and Tales of an Unknown Country. The middle one is pushing the definition of “all ages,” but it is at the very least inoffensive, and the best of the bunch. So I had high hopes for Lizard Prince.
Basically, this is a collection of one-shot type stories about Princess Canary and Prince Sienna, two young people from royal families who have been engaged. Sienna has spent most of his life under a curse in place of his brother that forced him into the form of a lizard. This is resolved in the first story, but apparently, since he was a lizard for so long, Sienna has the ability to switch back and forth as the mood strikes him. Uh… right. So together, Sienna and Canary tackle a variety of cute story topics together. They watch over a child, investigate a haunted house, meet Canary’s lizard-hating mother, investigate an imposter Prince Sienna in Sienna’s kingdom… et cetera.
The stories are fairly low-impact, and there’s not much character development after the first couple chapters. The wimpy Sienna and bossy Canary never stop being entertaining, though, so it’s not really a problem. It did irk me that the relationship wasn’t really developing, and thus the plot of the series didn’t appear to be progressing. That was my main concern with the book. Because other than that… it’s cute, and inoffensive, but with no overarching plot it doesn’t have a whole lot to offer aside from that.
You know, I’ve been staring at the cover of this for over a year, and I didn’t realize the lizard was drawn in a cartoony style that doesn’t really match the rest of the series. It’s a little weird on the cover, and even in the context of the other art, but it was rather endearing the more I read of it. The art is otherwise fairly standard cute shoujo fare, with fairly middle of the road character designs and background detail, et cetera. The mangaka mentions in the back that it ran in a seasonal magazine, which might mean that this is a rookie effort. If so, it is quite a good first/early series, and I’d love to read a regular serialized story by this author.
This is entertaining as far as a quick, cute read goes, and I like it as a good manga to offer a younger audience. It also does fit nicely in with the other princess/royalty-themed all ages manga that CMX was releasing at the time. It’s not the worst or least interesting of those titles, but it’s definitely not quite as good as some of the better content they released in those categories. It might be worth seeking out for parents with younger manga readers, though. Or huge fans of shoujo fantasy, which I am. I don’t regret buying or reading it, but there’s definitely better books out there.