When Maya Kurinoki takes her little brother to the local ice-skating rink for the first time, she's got her hands full just trying to get him to let go of the bar. To inspire a bit of bravery in him, she attempts a double axel-and lands it! Maya never imagined that this jump would change her life... or that a coach named Eishi Todo would vow to make her a figure skating "princess"! Now all Maya has to do is convince famous skater Shun Kano to become her partner. Too bad Shun doesn't want to have anything to do with her!
A short 2-volume manga by the same author of the well-known romance, Hana-Kimi.
The story revolves a girl, Maya, who has a growing talent - skating. She starts out at a public skating rink and does an advanced skating technique for the first time just from watching it on TV. Coincidentally, she is spotted by a guy who wants to pair her up with a more advanced skater, Shun. He is at first arrogant and cold about having to be her coach. The story progresses with her practicing, learning, and bonding with Shun. The plot is predictable, but you can't expect too much out of a 2 volume manga.
Art: appealing and flows with the story. I've always loved Hana-kimi art so I knew I wouldn't have a problem with this one.
Characters: again, a 2 volume manga doesn't have much room for character development, but there is some. Shun is like Sano from Hana-kimi, doesn't like to open up but in the end he does. His friend Oda reminds me of Nakatsu because of his carefree personality. The confident Maya reminds me of Mizuki. I don’t know if the author meant for this to happen but if you read this you'll see the connection.
Enjoyment: I really liked it. Although the characters were not as original, the concept was. There aren't many skating manga so I give props to Nakajo for doing this project. Also, I took lessons for 5 years so I was interested in how she was going to play this out. She really did her research, though.
Overall: your typical shoujo, worth a read. read more
First off, I'm surprised how few manga revolve around figure skating- or at least few are commonly known. I picked this up for the sole reason that I really wanted to read a manga about this sport; I wasn't disappointed because my expectations weren't extremely high. A two volume series is not going to leave much in the span of character development and plot development. It was okay- though nothing it was extraordinary, it's worth a read for those interesting in figure skating.
The premise of a young girl starting figure skating as a teenager is appeals to me- I like a main character discovering they have a lot of potential in something but are very unpolished in the subject. Maya has raw talent and natural rhythm/balance. She puts a great deal of effort into improving and it pays off at the end.
The end, however, is not only very predictable, but it felt anti-climatic. This might have had to do with the short amount of chapters.
The characters are mostly interesting despite the fact that there is not too much depth. In fact, I would've liked to know a lot more about Maya by the end. But her personality is amiable- she's not energetic to the point of being annoying but she has a lot of spirit. Shun is likable enough- he's the classic cliche of a unresponsive partner in the beginning who warms up to the protagonist as the story goes on. I wasn't crazy about him by any means, but I also didn't mind him.
The other characters are not touched on much at all, leaving the reader a bit apathetic to some of the relationships.
I did like how romance wasn't a big play at all to this manga- it really focused on the sport and the goals of Maya rather than typical shoujo affairs.
Since this is such a quick read, I'd recommend it to someone who feels like a bit of ice skating.read more
I only started reading this manga because of the author...i really liked hana-kimi and i hoped that this manga would be a funny and original one..but i was wrong. I do not understand this japanese manga cliche with very clumsy and average looking heroines..this was yet another manga with an average girl who is always saved by the good+looking, good at everything boy. the story was also a little far-fetched..i mean she could do a double axel jump when she had never skated before. There was very little character development as the manga itself was quite short. The only thing i enjoyed was the art..Shun being the spittin' image of Sano( Hana+Kimi)...
All in all it was a typical shoujo manga...it was not the worst..but it had potential to be so much better. read more
Sugar Princess is a surprisingly short series, especially compared to the other well-known series by Nakajo Hisaya, Hana-Kimi. It is a very condensed story but some how doesn't feel rushed. Instead, it feels abbreviated, like you're not quite getting the real meat of the story.
The characters are likable enough, but ultimately flat due to the lack of space to fully develop them. Maya is the stereotypical shoujo heroine: vapid, klutzy, but ultimately determined to beat the odds no matter how little she actually knows about what she's doing. Meanwhile, her male counterpart, Shun, is aloof, cold, and always badgering Maya about her faults and referring to her stupidity. Anyone else tired of this formula?
Oddly, romance never really transpires, but rather the skating partnership is addressed instead. This is the one somewhat unique aspect of the story, and I'm curious as to whether their skating partnership was supposed to be a metaphor for romance.
You have to suspend belief when reading Sugar Princess, given that Maya can do a double axel just from watching a skating program the very first time she takes to the ice. At least the final performance is supposed to be fairly 'simple' so it doesn't completely jump the shark (but it sure does get close.)
While the story and characters are shallow, one thing shines brightly and that is Nakajo's love of figure skating. Her notes, sidebars, and chapter art make it abundantly clear that she loves to watch figure skating and that this was a project to express that love.
I appreciate Nakojo's earnest desire to create a series about something she loves, and seizing the opportunity to do so when it came along (Japan's churned out some excellent skaters in the past two Winter Olympics.) However, as stronger story is a must for a quality series. Short doesn't have to mean shallow, but unfortunately that's what Sugar Princess is.read more