Friday, November 11, 2011

Manga Review: MeruPuri, Volume 1, by Matsuri Hino

Publisher: VIZ Media
Goodreads Synopsis:

On the way to school one morning, Airi loses her mirror - one that had been passed down to her through generations - and suddenly finds herself in a bizarre situation. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect Aram, a little boy from a magical kingdom, to have emerged from the mirror in the short time it took her to track it down!


I read this series a long time ago, probably around the time it came out, or a little after it did. It's one of my favorites, and I'm going to be reviewing it book by book as I re-read it. I'm not really sure if this volume is worth five stars, but I'm going to give it anyway. It's more the whole series is worth five stars, because I love all of them, and I don't know if I'll be able to rate each volume differently.
The book starts out with Aram waking up and hurrying into a mirror because Jeile is trying to put a spell on him. He goes through the mirror and into the human, or normal, world, as opposed to his magical kingdom, and into Airi's world. Airi thinks he's a weird kid but lets him stay at her house. By the end of the first chapter and into the second, we find out that Jeile, who is Aram's older half-brother, has put a spell on Aram to turn him old, only it messes up and instead he ages when in the dark. Mostly he ages into an older teen, around or older than Airi's freshmen of high school, while Aram is normally a little kid. It's not specified how old he is, but I'm going to assume it's around middle grade. Hope that it's around middle school age, because that wouldn't be too much older than Airi, even though she seems older. And the only way for him to turn back to his normal self, is by a maiden's kiss, who Aram decides is Airi.
Airi has very high standards for a boyfriend, because she's set on finding her soul mate like the one on a drama show that she's obsessed with. Even though this is ridiculous, I still quite like her. She doesn't give in to everything, and she doesn't just blubber and whine, and even though she isn't particularly strong, she isn't weak.
Nakaoji is a boy from her school that likes her, and she's just now starting to like him. He's sweet and gets embarrassed, and if the book was about him and not Aram, and if there was more focus on him, then I might like him more. But Aram wins that battle. Nakaoji has confessed to Airi, and she keeps getting interrupted from telling him her feelings.
Aram is adorable. He's still a little kid, mostly, for right now. He's a prince, and has had to deal with his older brother tormenting him all his life, so it's not too big a surprise that he's a bit more mature than most would be at his age, even if it's not specified. When he's little, he's very innocent and adorable. When he's big, he's still quite innocent and cute, but he's also very sexy, as the author put it. The age difference doesn't bother me too much. It didn't when I read it before, but that's mostly because I didn't pay any attention to it, and I was much younger then. It's kind of bothering me now that I'm thinking about it, but I'm trying not to let it, as well as trying to think of what age he is and how big of an age difference there is between them. I hope, and want to believe, that it isn't too big. And Aram has a servant, Lei. Lei doesn't say a whole lot, he's a little stoic and devious, and I like him.
Within chapter four and five, we officially meet Jeile. He's tormented Aram, and put several spells on him, and either has a hard time or won't reverse them. Upon meeting Airi, he calls her a mountain lily maiden and decides to take her as his 25th wife, claiming her to be his first lady. She immediately objects. At the end of the fourth chapter, he kidnaps her. Jeile is very eccentric, and he is very entertaining when he argues with Aram and spews out odd things. I don't mind him, but there are other times that he bothers me. I want to say that, at least from the picture at the end of the fourth chapter, he gives me a bit of the feeling like the phantom of the opera. This isn't a very good comparison, I know, because the phantom of the opera is much more sinister and evil and creepy, and there is probably a better comparison that I can't think of, but it's the one that comes to mind. Just the way that he dresses and kidnaps her... But, whatever.
Aram fights with Jeile, and then Jeile reverses the spell, only we find out that it didn't work and so Aram gets to stay with Airi a bit longer.
There's an obvious attraction growing between Airi and Aram, and I'm excited to see it grow even more. I've already read the series, so I know where it's going, and it's only four books, so there isn't a lot of space to let things drag on into. But I'm still looking forward to reading the rest of the books and seeing all of the little moments between them all over again.

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