Shugo Chara, vols. 1-9

www.randomhouse.comStory
Amu is an unintentionally popular girl who wants to change who she is. One night, she wishes to be her true self, had she not been so popular. The next morning, she wakes up to find in her bed three eggs: one red, one blue, and one green. When they hatch, they reveal three small Guardian Characters. The oddities don’t end there, as she’s accepted into the school’s group of Guardians, who each have eggs and Guardian Characters of their own, and finds out she can do a magical girl transform with each of the Characters. She also learns that all children have these eggs in their souls, but most aren’t aware of it. When people are led astray, their Eggs become corrupted, and as someone with the insanely rare number of 3 eggs, it’s her job to transform and purify corrupted X Eggs. In addition to all these duties as a Guardian, Amu has some romantic problems to solve. From the beginning, she’s had a crush on Tadase, the King in the Guardians, also the most popular boy in school. Shortly after discovering the eggs, she also meets Ikuto, a guy who seems close in personality to a cat who also seems to be interested in Amu in more ways than one.

Writing
The story’s narration is told from Amu’s perspective, so we always get her opinions and ideas about the situations in the manga. The writers used this perspective well in that we usually felt the same way as Amu during critical points in the plot, when meeting and interacting with characters, and responding to the Guardian Characters, which neither we nor Amu know much about. Although there’s some action, the manga itself focuses more on the romance aspect, causing it to have more dialogue. The themes in the manga encourage readers to be themselves and find out who they are. The romance felt a little odd, mostly because of the ages of characters. One possible love interest for Amu is her age (an elementary schooler), and the other is a senior in high school. Other than that, the romantic elements were cute, and the romantic conflicts seemed realistic for the situations they were depicted in. The fighting elements and romantic elements didn’t drown each other out and sometimes were combined, but still were effective in advancing the plot.

Art
The art is done by two mangaka, together known as Peach-Pit. Fortunately, both art styles complement each other perfectly, so characters don’t look too different from one another or look out of place. The art style is very pretty and shoujo-like. Sometimes, the characters look older than they actually are (I kept forgetting that Amu is in elementary school). Peach Pit made sure to give all the main characters unique character designs. Clothes were drawn with wrinkles, individual chains, and other small details included.

Warnings
There are lots of romantic situations, despite the fact that a majority of major characters are in elementary school. In addition, Amu and Ikuto have a very large age difference. There’s a scene where Ikuto snuck into Amu’s house and ended up sleeping in the same bed with her and using her shower while she’s also in the bathroom (although he doesn’t try to seduce her and respects her personal space during this entire time).

Shugo Chara, vols. 1-9
by Peach-Pit
Vol. 1 ISBN: 9781612623139
Vol. 2 ISBN: 9781612623146
Vol. 3 ISBN: 9781612623429
Vol. 4 ISBN: 9781612623436
Vol. 5 ISBN: 9781612623443
Vol. 6 ISBN: 9781612623450
Vol. 7 ISBN: 9781612623467
Vol. 8 ISBN: 9781612623474
Vol. 9 ISBN: 9781612623481
Kodansha, 2012-2013
Publisher Age Rating: T (13+)

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