Nui 1

September 1, 2008

Okay, so the only reason I wound up picking this up was because it was done by Natsumi Mukai, who also does +Anima, a really underappreciated cute and fun-to-read fantasy title.  Part of me wants to believe I never would have picked up a series about a little girl’s stuffed animals coming to life otherwise.  The other part of me enjoyed this far more than should be possible.

So yes, so far, this is a really great all ages title, much like +Anima.  I would have died to be able to read this at the age of 8 or 10, especially since I was always afraid of getting rid of my toys for fear of them being sad or betrayed (which is why it’s probably a good thing I didn’t read this or see Toy Story until I was a little older).  I was kind of surprised that the main character was a 16-year-old girl, but that sets things up right away for romantic possibilities, which thus far have been a boy who the main character shot down and now watches over her from afar.

So, Kaya, the main character, she has three stuffed animals that she treasures.  Her friends at school make fun of her for liking them so much, but this doesn’t stop her from talking to them and sleeping with them at night, etc.  The three stuffed animals all come to life because of all the love she’s given them over the years, and in the first few chapters, they do things like save Kaya from stalkers and hang out at the beach.  For whatever reason, if Kaya wishes it or is in enough trouble, the animals also turn into cute little boys.  One of the animals, Purple, seems to have a little crush on Kaya too, and he winds up following her around and getting into trouble, etc.

There’s also a plot involving a famous… stuffed animal maker who seems to be after Kaya and/or Purple for some reason.  This reminds me a lot of Shinshoku Kiss, except it’s a lot funnier to call someone a well-respected stuffed animal maker.

Premise aside, I was totally won over while reading it.  It really is just as charming and fun-to-read as +Anima, which made me very happy.  Everything is very, VERY cute, and while the characters aren’t yet quite as fun as the ones in +Anima, I’ve found myself liking all three of Kaya’s stuffed animals so far, and… well, while I’m not sure how things will go with the stuffed animal maker going after Kaya, I’m pretty sure it will be a great ride.  I’m also always very satisfied when I find manga that I enjoy reading that would be great for kids too, and this is another series for that pile.