Still, we haven't forgotten that we like to do other things too! And so we've been reading manga! (I almost feel like that last sentence should include a "finally"...) And now Athena's finally read the new thing by Kou Matsuzuki. I was going to wait until she was finished reading volume two before talking about it, but I'm just too excited about this series!
So it's called Ouji to Majo to Himegimi to, which, as I mentioned before, indicates that it has a prince (ouji), a witch (majo), and a princess (himegimi). Japanese doesn't always specify singular versus plural, so we know there's at least one of each, and possibly more. lyschan pointed out that some official merchandise with English on it translated it so as to indicate more than one princess. That actually turned out to be a little bit of a spoiler, because as I picked up volume one, I noticed one girl surrounded by guys. Hmmm...
Then the girl's name was Ooji. Hmmmmm...! So obviously there was going to be some gender-bending or something to that effect, and I finally started to catch on to what it was with the introduction of a character named Yukinashi. Why? Because "yuki" had the kanji for snow, and he was eating an apple. Oooohhh, so that's how it is.
Suspicions were confirmed when the heroine's new guys friends explained that once upon a time, there was a prince who went around stealing the hearts of just about every princess in the world, and they all fought and fought and fought over him, and finally decided that the contest would have to continue into their next life. But before the prince died, the witch cast a spell on him, cursing him to be reborn as a woman. And all the princesses were reborn as men.
And thus we have my favorite version of Cinderella ever. He reminds me of Edgeworth from Ace Attorney (probably because his name is Reiji) and Kyoya from Host Club ('cause he looks like him, only with cat eyes for some reason). I kind of think of Cinderella (in this version) as the first wife, who had to deal with her husband going off philandering and stuff. And because of it, she's developed a very sadistic personality toward the prince. But that's just speculation. Except that Reiji really is mean to Subaru (Ooji).
The names amuse me a lot. Snow White's reincarnation is Mashiro Yukinashi (pure white snow pear (the pear part isn't important)). Cinderella's is the best again, Reiji Susuhara. Susuhara means "soot field," and Reiji means "zero hour." It took us each a while to figure out the significance of that, but when we did, we were happy. Okay, so mostly just those names amuse me--those names and Maki. There's a mystery character whose true identity has yet to be revealed (I think he's the fairy godmother) who calls himself Maki, and he talks like a girl. We can't help but wonder if he was named after a certain Sugimoto. (But he uses different kanji.) There are also a few things that may or may not be alluding to Fruits Basket.
Anyway! This series is another example of how Snow White almost never has black hair in Japanese versions of the story. In fact, this particular Snow White has step-siblings that specifically have black hair! So we know it's not just a matter of, "Eh, close enough." We wonder if that's because almost everyone in Japan has black hair, so it's not as big a deal as it would be to, say, Germans.
And despite my love of Reiji, I think my favorite character is Hayato, the Little Mermaid. For some reason the only part of his name that indicates "little mermaid" is the "Uo" in "Uozumi," but oh well. He's great. They had a flashback to when he was little, and he was singing the Jewelry Five theme song! Has Jewelry Five been mentioned as of the latest domestic release of Happy Cafe? It's kind of like how in Fruits Basket there's a Pokemon-type show, only with Power Rangers. Not important to the story at all, but shows up occasionally. And the fact that they're all gemstones (=sparkly) makes them that much awesomer.
Oh! And Red Riding Hood is great, too! She wasn't in love with the prince, just friends with him, so she was a girl still, and she's hilarious.
And those are our not necessarily coherent thoughts on the new Kou Matsuzuki series. In short, we like it! And we hope we get to translate it someday. And we can't wait for volume three to come out! March eighteenth seems so far away...
Today I'm thankful for having time to read manga today, awesome manga based on fairy tales, finishing our column today so we didn't end up flaking out (we thought almost seriously about calling in sick (so to speak); incidentally, we decided to go with the shoujo manga topic we were talking about a couple weeks ago), the Jewelry Five, and fun illusion commands in Birth by Sleep: Final Mix.