October 13, 2008
Honestly, I wasn’t sure how much I would like this one. ION was okay, but it wasn’t exactly A-list material, and I was expecting these stories to be slightly worse since they were older. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked them. Sure, they’re a little rough around the edges, but they’re still pretty fun stories.
The title story is a two-parter about a Kunoichi, a female ninja, who is in high school, dealing with her first love, protecting her clan’s secret weapon, etc. There are notes in the back that explain a little what a Kunoichi is, but I didn’t realize this until I’d finished the volume. Fortunately, I’d read Ranma 1/2, which is an embarassing source for my Kunoichi knowledge, but there you go. The Kunoichi and her friends are in two stories, the first was about her first love, and the second was about her best friend confessing his feelings for him. These stories felt very rough and somehow slightly wrong, but I couldn’t tell you what was so “wrong” about them. Whatever it was, had it been resolved this feels like it would have made an enjoyable 1-2 volume series.
There’s one that has a name that is roughly “Their Love is So Nonfiction,” but that’s not quite it. Basically, girl has penpal she likes a lot, but girl sends photo of her best friend, so that when penpal and she decide to meet, best friend has to stand in for her instead. You could see the ending of this one coming a mile away, and it follows every shoujo stereotype in the book, but it’s still kind of fun. Same for “Rainy Days are for Romantic Heroines,” that used a lot of shoujo conventions, but was fun anyway.
I think I liked her debut story the least, actually. She says it was popular because the boy who was vying for the heroine’s emotions was so likeable, which is true. It just seemed slightly too long for as simple a story as it was, though.
I wanted to read this before I started on Time Stranger Kyoko, which I anticipate liking a lot, considering how much I enjoyed the other two series I’ve read by her (or at least in theory, can’t say I was all that happy with Full Moon when it ended, but I loved the story most of the way through). I liked this volume well enough, and I can definitely see how these eventually turned into Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne and Full Moon, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back to these stories any time soon.