Sakura Hime 12
March 18, 2015
Arina Tanemura – Viz – 2014 – 12 volumes
THIS IS WHAT SHOUJO MANGA SHOULD ALWAYS BE LIKE.
I was a little taken aback, because this is like Game of Thrones: The Shoujo Manga in this last volume, and it’s a little uncharacteristic of Tanemura. And Ribon manga. But man, I loved every page. There was a thing that kept happening over and over again, and I couldn’t believe it every time. There wasn’t really that much take-back, though. And I liked that about it.
I loved this ending. I got ridiculously caught up in it. Best scene was probably when she took her soul symbol back.
It’s volumes like this one that make me wish I had real-life friends I could call and just gush. I can’t do it here without spoiling anything.
But man. Sakura Hime was worth reading. I liked it so much better than Gentleman’s Alliance and Full Moon. Did I like it better than Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne? Well, I’m going to have to re-read that one and find out. Good thing Viz is giving me the opportunity. I did re-buy it, because it now matches the rest of my Tanemura volumes. And I desperately want to support Tanemura in English.
And I really, really, really hope that Tanemura isn’t falling out of favor with US shoujo fans. The KKJ reprint is wrapping up, but there aren’t any more Tanemura books currently scheduled. I hope they announce something this spring. There are three titles currently untranslated. Fudanjuku Monogatari, which is a one-shot that I’m not holding out much hope for. There’s The Cat’s and My Friday, which sounds like a contemporary romance thing and her main series, and the newer Thirty-One I Dream, which sounds like a love letter to me, and I have my fingers desperately crossed for. Admittedly, that one is less likely since the target audience in the US probably couldn’t relate to a 30-year-old heroine like I can. But I would still like to see it.
EDIT: I AM SO HAPPY. I wrote this up in November, and since then, Viz licensed the one I call “Thirty-One I Dream,” which is now called “Idol Dreams.” Can’t wait!
Tanemura also mentions a couple times that she’s retiring from Ribon, despite her former wish to always write stories there. Her letters of thanks to the magazine and readers nearly made me tear up, so it sounds like it really was a big deal to move to Margaret/Melody.
Basically, I’m a huge Arina Tanemura fangirl, and I was happy with the end of Sakura Hime. If you like shoujo manga, you should check it out.