Manga Review: Shugo Chara! Volume One

Shugo Chara! Volume One is a manga by Peach-Pit, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2007. The series is rated “T” for ages 13+; after reading this first volume, I would agree with this rating.

Shugo Chara! Volume 1
Written by: Peach-Pit
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: August 21, 2012

The main character of Shugo Chara! is Amu Hinamori, and many of her classmates think she’s cool; rumors and speculation about her spread around school. In reality, Amu is actually shy and has a hard time showing her true personality. One night, she wishes for the courage to show her “would-be” self; the next morning, she wakes up to find three eggs in her bed. Each of these eggs hatches into a Guardian Character: one is named Ran, one is named Miki, and one is named Su. Ran represents Amu’s desire to be more honest, confident, and athletic. Miki represents Amu’s wish to be more sharp, level headed, and artistic. Su represents Amu’s desire to be more caring, sensitive, and improving her domestic skills.

At Amu’s school, there are four members of the student council, who are referred to as the school’s Guardians; each member of the council has a Guardian Character of their own. Amu has a crush on Tadase Hotori, the head of the council. After the council discovers that Amu has three Guardian Characters, they try to recruit her to help them find a special egg called the Embryo; supposedly, this egg will grant any wish to the one who possesses it. Amu eventually becomes the fifth member of the council, and it’s her job to search for and purify X Eggs and X Characters. She is also given a lock, which enables a process called Character Transformation that allows Amu to gain special abilities that are dependent on the Guardian Character.

Meanwhile, the Easter Company is also out in search of the Embryo, and Ikuto Tsukiyomi is a high school boy recruited by the company to find it. During the first volume, he attempts to steal one of Amu’s Character Eggs, and he later harasses Amu.

The one thing I can give this manga credit for is its cute art style. Considering what the story is about, the cuteness of the art really works.

However, I have to admit that I personally found the story to be a little on the strange side. I was especially groaning when I discovered that the main villain is named the Easter Company; considering how prominent eggs are in this story, I found this to be rather groan-worthy. Perhaps the audience that this manga is being aimed at will better appreciate that particular joke than I do.

By far, Shugo Chara! is going to have a strong appeal to younger female teenagers, because they will be able to relate to Amu as a character, and the story and art style will also hold the most appeal to that group. I’d also be willing to say that manga readers who enjoy a series like Cardcaptor Sakura will probably also find some enjoyment in Shugo Chara!

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Shugo Chara! Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional post about Shugo Chara!:

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