Lizard Prince 2

June 12, 2012

Asuka Izumi – CMX – 2010 – 2 volumes

As I’ve stated previously, the late lamented CMX had a habit of publishing short and fun all-ages titles for girls. Several of them were princess-themed, and are the types of books I would’ve eaten up in fifth grade. Even a crotchety old lady like me enjoyed titles like Lapis Lazuli Crown and A Tale of an Unknown Country, and I was hoping Lizard Prince would be more of the same. Sadly, Lizard Prince is a bit more formulaic than the other two titles I mentioned. Fifth graders would probably still eat it up, but there are other shoujo manga for those who have seen this type of thing before.

There’s nothing wrong with it, per se. It does exactly what it says on the box. Sienna and Canary continue to have little misadventures where Sienna accidentally turns into a lizard and he and Canary have to find some way around it. Most of the chapters in this book are meet the family-oriented, and we are introduced to Sienna’s parents, Canary’s brother, family challenge-type situations, and ending at a wedding where Sienna and Canary have to explain the lizard transformation to the while kingdom when the vengeful lizard spirit comes back with a vengeance. There’s even a chapter where the two of them help another troubled couple and get a proper engagement ceremony. It’s lots of fun, and I did like seeing strong-willed Canary stand up for both herself and the cowardly Sienna.

But the lizard transformation felt like it was being stretched a bit thin. Sienna “accidentally” transforms in the first three chapters (he supposedly has control over the transformation), and it feels more like it’s something that has to happen rather than an actual problem he’s having. It doesn’t really help that that’s the only bit of magic in the series, either, so while everything else is relatively nice and normal (in that Sienna and Canary are a prince and princess… you know), Sienna turns into a lizard at inopportune moments. The fourth chapter explains the transformations keep happening because the curse isn’t completely broken, but as this hadn’t been hinted at before, it felt a little tacked on. The stories themselves were also formulaic, as I mentioned. Sienna’s family has a rather ridiculous family trial where a ring “accidentally” falls on his finger and Canary has to get his memories back if she wants to marry him. Canary has an overprotective brother. And… well, of course Sienna was going to transform into a lizard in front of thousands of people at his wedding, but since that was the climax, I can’t really pick on that one.

If you know a little girl who likes manga, pick this up along with Lapis Lazuli Crown (also 2 volumes) and A Tale of an Unknown Country (three volumes). All of them are short, sweet, and quite good as far as manga aimed at a younger audience goes. But if you’re a shoujo fan, as I said before, the other two titles are probably worth your time, but if you’ve read those, you already know what this has to offer.

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