Kiss of the Rose Princess Volume One is a manga by Aya Shouoto, and it was released by VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2014. The series is rated “T” for teens; after reading this volume, I would agree with this rating.
Kiss of the Rose Princess Volume 1
Written by: Aya Shouoto
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Anise Yamamoto is a high school student who wears a rose choker given to her by her father; Anise was warned that if she ever removed it, she would receive a terrible punishment. At school, the reader is introduced to Anise’s classmate, Kaede Higa; student council president Mitsuru Tenjo; a sickly student named Seiran Asagi; and a scary-looking boy named Mitsuki Kurama. It’s made clear during Mitsuru’s introduction that Anise has a crush on him. From reading the back of the book, I knew Anise would be getting four knights; after seeing these characters’ introductions, I was able to guess that somehow these four would become her knights.
One day, while Anise and Kaede are cleaning at school, Anise is attacked by a bat-like creature; her choker disappears, and a card appears in her hand. Thinking the creature has the choker, Anise chases it and falls into a hole. She finds a faculty member and learns that she needs to kiss the card to summon one of the Rose Knights; when she does, Kaede appears. Later, Anise acquires three more cards, and discovers that Mitsuru, Seiran, and Mitsuki are the other knights.
The rest of the volume sees Anise trying to find her choker before her father discovers that she’s no longer wearing it, as well as learning how the cards work and how the knights can help her. I found it amusing that Anise is able to get close to Mitsuru, only to learn that he’s too attached to her because he’s serving her as the Rose Princess. This basically destroys the crush that Anise had on him, and she comes to think of him as a freak.
This volume also establishes the four very different personalities that the Rose Knights have, as well as how they interact with Anise. Over the course of this volume, I found myself thinking that Kaede may potentially be interested in Anise. And right now, Mitsuki is rather aloof and doesn’t want to acknowledge Anise being the Rose Princess, but I have a feeling that somewhere later in the series, he’ll start changing his mind.
When it comes to the drawing style, there’s no mistaking that Kiss of the Rose Princess is a shojo manga. Every male character that’s introduced in this volume, whether a teenager or an adult, has a “bishonen” look to them. In fact, as I read this, I couldn’t help but think that Mitsuru and Seiran were based off of a couple of characters in Revolutionary Girl Utena (Touga and Miki, respectively). In fact, the focus on roses in this series also made me think of Revolutionary Girl Utena and I started wondering if perhaps that anime potentially served as some kind of inspiration for Kiss of the Rose Princess.
I have to admit that when I read the description for this volume on the back of the book, I was skeptical as to whether or not I would enjoy Kiss of the Rose Princess. As I read Volume One, though, I was surprised to find myself enjoying it. There was just enough here to pique my interest and to amuse me early on that it made me want to keep on reading the volume and not want to put it down. There’s a lot of potential here, and hopefully the series can maintain its premise and this tone of storytelling throughout its run.
I believe that shojo manga readers who enjoy having magical or supernatural elements in stories that they read will find something to like about Kiss of the Rose Princess.
I wrote this review after reading a review copy of Kiss of the Rose Princess Volume One that was provided to me by VIZ Media.
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