"Mahou wo Shinjirukai?" (Do you Believe in Magic?)
by Fumiko TANIKAWA
Ribon Mascot Comics Cookie, 2000
Wow, it is a lot more difficult for me to buy Random shoujo manga now that I no longer live in San Francisco. I no longer have easy access to a store that sells manga, so my previous habit of just browsing the aisles and picking up whatever caught my eye has come to an end. ;_; So, how can I maintain my manga habit and find cute series like this one? Shop online! Yay! By browsing through many Japanese bookstore pages and manga sites, I managed to spot this series. The cover looked pretty cute, and it is only 3 volumes total, so it seemed like a nice, short series to try out.
I enjoy romance stories between normal girls and guys with some sort of magical power. This is one such story. The heroine is an average college student named Hinata. She is very happy, studies hard, and has a lot of friends. She also has a very cute, sweet boryfriend named Shiga-kun. However one day a lot of strange things begin to happen to her. She and Shiga-kun are almost killed by a falling potted plant. She finds a strange little butterfly earring in her bag that does not belong to her. Her head is almost sliced in two by a rather huge knife/spear thing. When she and Shiga-kun are about to kiss, the window above their heads suddenly shatters for no apparent reason. how odd! Then Hinata notices someone running away, THROUGH a wall. Who is it? How did they go through a wall? Later when she and Shiga-kun are waiting at a train crossing, Hinata gasps in horror as she sees a pair of hands appear from nowhere and push Shiga-kun onto the train tracks directly in front of the oncoming train! Hinata acts quickly, diving forward and pushing Shiga-kun out of the way, barely saving him in time. Then Hinata sees a strange boy appear. He is dressed all in black, and wears a rather surly expression. Hinata blames him for all the strange things happening to her, and he accuses her of getting in the way. He is a shinigami (death god) named Saburo. He uses a huge pair of scissors to cut the tie that binds a spirit to its body. The butterfly earring that Hinata found belongs to him. While she wears it, it allows her to see otherworldly things like the shinigami. He wants his earring back, but unfortunately for Hinata, it won't come off! So now Hinata has a very persistent shinigami hanging around her, a jealous, hurt boyfriend who just doesn't understand, a jealous female shinigami out to get her, and oh, did I mention the cute angel boy? ^_^;;
The art style in this series struck me as a bit odd at first. It is very light and airy, and the artist leaves a lot of things blank. Characters often do not have noses. Lines are very thin and somewhat wispy or scratchy in places. Backgrounds are minimal. The effect is very cute, and as I read more and more it really grew on me. I really like the light, wavy lines used in Hinata's hair, too! This is a cute romance with a small dose of action and a splash of angst. The art gets progressively adorable. And hey, at a total of 3 volumes, it's easy to collect!
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