What kind of person will I become? What can I do for myself? Children ponder those very questions, and from those thoughts, the "Heart's Egg" is born. Unseen by most, the Heart's Egg remains hidden within every individual, and represents a person's own ideal character.
While adjusting to life at a new school, Amu Hinamori has unintentionally gained a reputation for being "cool and spicy." Unhappy with her outward persona, Amu often wonders how she can act more like her true self. Her desire for change is manifested when one morning, Amu awakens to find three eggs beneath her. They hatch to reveal Ran, Miki and Suu—three "Guardian Characters," each an embodiment of Amu's ideal self.
Shugo Chara! follows Amu's journey as the trio begin to show her just how much potential she has, encountering other Guardian Characters, and a few troublesome experiences along the way.
Shugo Chara! had nine volumes published in English by Del Rey from March 27, 2007 to July 27, 2010. Kodansha Comics USA picked up the license and published volumes 10-12 from May 10 to September 6, 2011, also republishing the previous volumes from August 21, 2012 to January 4, 2013.
Shugo Chara is basically a typical magical girl manga. I knew it was but something about it draws you in. Maybe it was because of Amu's cool appearance or maybe it was the because of the eggs I'm not sure. But one thing that is for certain, Peach-Pit takes your typical magical girl manga, adds in some spice and tadaa~ a very original magical girl manga.
However something is stopping Shugo Chara from getting an 8. Though the storyline is original with the whole egg and your true self thing, Shugo Chara gets extremely tedious after the first couple of X-egg encounters. I was incredibly close to skipping all the chapters until the one that I was interested in but I didn't. I kept telling myself that I would read something interesting that would help me understand more of these Shugo Charas. Unfortunately I never fully understood it.
I found the story was way too long considering the plot was pretty simple however it was too short seeing how it never fully explained the concept of Shugo Charas.
Everything was well detailed. All the characters looked cute and individual. I loved the detail of Amu's character. A punk-goth style is annoying to draw but it was always there. The costumes were cute as well. I noticed the surroundings could be scratchy at times but no biggy. One thing though, towards the end, you can see that Amu's legs weren't drawn properly. They look as if they were bent and twisted in painful ways. Well it's not that bad but you get the point...
Best part of Shugo Chara. First off, to be blunt, the wide range of characters did annoy me. All the characters kept disappearing and new ones would come in. I wanted it to settle so that I could enjoy watching the characters that I liked.
Seeing how it was shown in Amu's POV, I praise Peach-Pit's splendid job. Whenever she met new characters you would feel the same as her. For example Kairi, I hated him at first. He just had that 'I'm-an-asshole-beware' sort of feeling. But after both you and Amu got to know you grow that bond between the characters. Kairi is one of my fave characters from Shugo Chara by the way.
Everyone was complicated yet so simple. Some of their reactions are the types you'd only see in this sort of manga but I let that past. The Shugo Charas themselves were just awesome. Everyone was awesome and I love all the characters.
Enjoyment + Overall: 8
I really enjoyed Shugo Chara when it was not tedious. It could've well become a fave manga of mine if it didn't drag on but that's to expect in a magical girl manga right? I sucked it up and read it all and ended up enjoying it quite a bit especially the characters. If I could I would put the whole cast on my fave characters list but that's a bit impossible ==" But yeah, I enjoyed it. Very good manga for those manga newbies and people who have seen others, it's still pretty good. Like I said, just gotta suck it up ;Dread more
A very original magical girl manga. Its whole storyline and character personality is great. And need I say, most of the pages will make you laugh and have you wishing for the next volume to come out. I think anyone who likes the cute magical side of life will fall head over heels for this manga and will soon be wish for his or hers own Guardian Characters.
I started off reading this manga because I heard it was a fun, happy-go-lucky kind of story. It was! I laughed out loud a lot and the message was upbeat and positive. But it was more than just a good time. I finished the series feeling not just satisfied and cuddly, but inspired.
I'm a sucker for creators who take an everyday life concern and turn it into a compelling story. The concept which this manga is based on, that of having dreams or an ideal self, is something I think everyone can relate to. I know I struggled with identity when I was younger. Getting to see Amu initially discouraged by what she lacks and slowly begin to understand and believe in herself is a beautiful thing. Combined with her other trials of having friends move away, trying to find out what love really is, and being a responsible older sister/buddy, this really makes her a dynamic, relatable character. Throughout the story as she gains confidence she has an awesome power to change those around her for the better. This is one area I believe the story did well at.
Most of the villains in the story are fairly likable. None of them are evil "just because". They are smart in their methods as well. I was never groaning at how silly a bad guy was acting, because what they did made sense. Additionally, those who are redeemed retain their original personalities and turn to good because they remember what they have lost. I enjoyed that rather than just beating enemies down through sheer magical power, Amu also worked at their hearts.
Initially I was skeptical about the Guardian Characters. Normally when something small and cute shows up its bound to be annoying. But I ended up feeling the opposite towards them. They were all hilarious! I liked their distinct personalities and their interactions amongst themselves. As for their relation to the plot, I think they were a really good manifestation of ideals. Some of them took a distinguishable form of a future career, such as an air-hostess. Others embodied a state of being such as freedom. A few characters had more than one Guardian Character. Sometimes they would disappear or turn to darkness. They could guide and give power to those who believed in them. All of these aspects are things that can be true of dreams in real life.
I waver about whether relationships among characters were handled well. On one hand, the romance aspect of the manga is amazing. I normally shun romances, but this one made my heart skip a few beats. Amu's innocence and tendency to blush made her adorable! Her quest to understand love and her uncertain feelings towards various characters remind me of many young people and myself at times. Growth in her romantic relationships is clearly shown and really cute! You can tell what Amu is feeling in all of these interactions. I know some people don't think the romance went far enough or ended satisfactorily, but I feel the consideration Amu's love interests have for her (and the grace they have for each other) is what's really important. And that is there in spades.
On the other hand, I think friendships could have been fleshed out a bit more. Particularly between Amu and Nadeshiko, there wasn't a lot of development. The first season of the anime does a better job of this with episodes that show them hanging out together. As a group the Guardians are pretty cohesive. Individually, however, there wasn't a lot of time for clear, deep bonds to form. Towards the end of the manga was kind of weird. I felt that hints of romance forming between side characters were unnecessary and a bit at odds with individual personalities. It seemed like a rushed "as long as everyone has someone" kind of resolution.
Pacing of the story moved right along. There weren't a lot of uninteresting side stories or filler chapters. Powers and transformations stayed fairly tame and weren't blown out of proportion or continually upgraded in an attempt to keep things interesting. In a world where most series resort to such tactics, this was refreshing.
Overall, I found Shugo Chara! to be a feel-good series with a surprising amount of depth and relation to life. I'm not about to say it's world-class writing and that it opened my eyes or anything like that, but there are many insightful moments in this story. It's a wonderful series to pick up if you're ever feeling down about life.
I like the art - clean, straightforward, and very pleasing to the eyes. I thought the character's emotions were also clearly reflected in the art.
The story was okay. It was fast-paced which is good. I love Ikuto's character very much. Hehe. There was too much idealism which isn't much too my taste. And at the end, there was a confusing all-fantasy arc that surpassed space and time which I didn't really like. But overall, I thought the manga was good and I definitely enjoyed it. I liked best the dokidoki moments of Ikuto and Amu. Hehe. I also liked how Ikuto was portrayed and those times when he couldn't express himself very well. There were things that came out unexpectedly (I thought Tadase liked Nadeshiko :P), but they were still interesting.
P.S. I watched the anime first but after episode 8, I gave up and read the manga instead. The anime was very slow-paced and has a lot of fillers. I'm not sure if I'm gonna continue/finish it, but if it's for the sake of Ikuto, maybe I would. Hehe read more