Set on an alternate Earth that was invaded by an alien race that calls themselves “Agartha,” three teenage girls have been gifted with the ability to transform into powerful magical girls. Wielding fruit wands, they are nicknamed Flavor Girls by the humans they protect. A fourth, Sara, is selected after being chased by the Agarthians through the streets of her hometown. Sara decides to leave her friends behind to join the Flavor Girls to train at the Temple of Mother Tree. Mother Tree provides the power each Flavor Girl uses to transform and defend Earth. Unfortunately, Sara has a lot to learn about fighting and teamwork and not much time before she is called to defend one of the relics protecting Mother Tree.
After the Agarthians manage to steal one of Mother Tree’s relics, the story follows them back to their spaceship. The Agartha celebrate their success and explain why they are hunting down the relics while showcasing their structure of power and personalities. There is also a short side story included at the end that deviates from the main story, which follows the Flavor Girls as they investigate a missing person and discover a haunted house.
My favorite aspect of this graphic novel is that the backstory sequences are told without words and with muted colors, relying on the action portrayed in the illustrations. This is very successful when juxtaposed with the colorful main story elements. Locatelli-Kournwsky has paced the story well, with a good balance between character development and world building. Nothing feels extraneous to the plot. The inclusion of the aliens’ point of view in the second half of the book, gives the audience new information about the ongoing war and raises questions about why they originally came to Earth and their relationship to Mother Tree and the relics. I’m looking forward to seeing how both sides’ stories progress in volume 2.
This would make a great addition to any public library collection for teens (since it does contain the usual superhero violence, making it inappropriate for children’s collections). It would also appeal to teen fans of magical girl manga and anime and would be a fantastic diverse addition to superhero collections.
Flavor Girls, Vol. 1
By Loic Locatelli-Kournwsky
Publisher Age Rating: All Ages
NFNT Age Recommendation: Older Teen (16-18), Teen (13-16)
Creator Representation: French,