Phantom Thief Jeanne 1

April 12, 2015

Arina Tanemura – Viz – 2014 – 7 volumes
(this is volume 1 of a 5-volume omnibus edition)

I’ve already reviewed this entire series on this site, as it was released by CMX more years ago than I like to admit.  However, I love Arina Tanemura to pieces, and can’t resist the re-read and the nice omnibus edition.  And more press for her never hurts, as it seems there’s been a delay in announcing a localization for one of her new series (note: I wrote this in December, and a new one was announced recently. I cried real tears of joy).  I hope little girls still buy her series!

The first thing I noticed here is that all of Tanemura’s commentaries are missing.  I had wondered about this.  They’ve gotten much better over the years, and the most recent ones do add to the story.  These early ones are… hm.  Not very good.  At one time, her author commentaries were my least favorite to read in shoujo manga.  Part of me is relieved I don’t have to read them again.  I went back to the CMX version, and can confirm that we are not missing out on much.  But I wonder if it was Tanemura’s decision or Viz’s to leave them out.

The second thing is that her art has gotten so much better over the years!  This is a huge compliment, because I liked it plenty when I first started reading her series.  But comparing Sakura Hime to Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne makes it obvious she’s improved so much.  There’s so much more detail, the hairstyles are better, the backgrounds are prettier… again, the artwork in Jeanne is good, but I’m blown away by the difference.

The story is still cute.  Maron is a magical girl, the titular Phantom Thief Jeanne.  It runs along the rails through this volume… Maron hides her identity from her best friend, goes out at night to steal paintings, has her rival that is also her main love interest, et cetera.  It’s cute, there’s a lot of funny jokes, and I enjoy reading it even as simple as this volume is.  It gets better, though.  I love the Finn/Access moments later in the series, as well as the wicked twist.

I also like that Tanemura works so well with the limited number of characters here.  The main trio of Maron, Chiaki, and Miyako, which is supplemented later with the class president.  Chiaki and Maron both have cute helpers in Access Time and Finn Fish.  Miyako’s dad recurs occasionally.  And… that’s about it.  It works well with just a few people, and I love that Miyako stays strong as a best friend/police rival/unconvincing rival in love throughout the series.

Can’t wait to read more!  I have to dig the rest out of my stacks.

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