Saturday, April 12, 2014

Manga Review: Phantom Thief Jeanne, Volume 1, by Arina Tanemura

Rating (Out of 5): ~4 (maybe 4.5)
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Volumes: 5 omnibus-ish; 7 single volumes.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

High school student Maron Kusakabe has a secret: she’s Phantom Thief Jeanne. She sneaks into private art collections to steal paintings in which demons reside. Jeanne’s task is to seal the demons before they can devour human hearts. So far she’s been able to evade the police on her midnight outings, but now another thief has come onto the scene—Phantom Sinbad—and he’s trying to take the paintings before she does!

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.


I read this series back when it was first released by CMX, and really enjoyed it. It’s still, I think, my favorite of Tanemura’s series (possibly followed by Full Moon O Sagashite). I was excited upon hearing of the re-license, particularly because they were bigger editions with color pages. I still own my original edition, so I’m not sure if I’m going to buy each of the new ones, but I might. They’re just so pretty; it's going to be much too hard to resist, I think.
I haven’t read the series since back when I first bought it, so it was refreshing getting to re-read it. And it’s still just as good as back then, too, which makes me happy.
The artwork is clearly her earlier stuff, but it’s still really pretty, and really well done. And I’ve always liked the eccentricity of Tanemura’s art, the costumes and the backgrounds, the flowers. It’s just so nice to look at.
I love Jeanne; she’s a great heroine, stubborn, a little na├»ve, but good-hearted, and wanting to be loved. Chiaki is a very nice love interest. I like seeing his developing feelings for Jeanne, in particular. They have a bit of a forbidden romance going, both in denial but also working on different sides to right evil. I’d honestly forgotten how they met, and their forbidden romance thing. How they meet is adorable. And the forbidden romance is important, and there, but they’re really the only ones worried about it, and in denial of it. But it’s so obvious how things are going to work out on that end.
Jeanne sends notes to let the owner  of the artwork know when she’s going to “steal” the work of art (when she’s really getting rid of the demon and replacing it with a different, pure picture). Those scenes are a bit exaggerated and cheesy, but it’s kind of a quirky theme to the series. It goes with the humor. And mostly it just makes me feel nostalgic.
Jeanne and Chiaki both have fairy (or angel) companions, Finn and Access, respectively. I’m a rather big fan of both of them. They’re sweet, and also a little adorable (Access in particular), and help the two out a lot. 
Quite a bit happened in this volume, especially a lot in the ways of romance. Including a bit of a cliffhanger, or an anxious ending leading to more. It’s a definite enticement to pick up the next volume, that's for sure.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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