Mar 20, 2017
Incidentally when I began this manga, I recognized the art and realized that I had read a selection from this mangaka before, but it was a newer series called “Momo.” That one was a bit intriguing, so I was hoping that this would be as well. Unfortunately it was considerably less so. It didn’t fall off my radar of interest, though, as it did have some thematic quirks.
The topic of a special girl trying to pass off as a normal one in school is not an uncommon one. Instead of being a princess, though, she’s the prime minister’s daughter. I actually kind of liked that
little distinction. It brought the plot a little closer to reality and made Hime a bit more genuine and likable.
Aside from the resolution after an altercation with her best friend, though, the rest of this manga was filled to the brim with clichés. The destined first guy she meets is of course the main love interest and has to be the cool and popular type to boot, hardly shows weakness, and besides his initial profession, is practically flawless. People attempt to take advantage of Hime because of her status. She and her father have a rocky relationship because of his responsibilities as prime minister of Japan. I can’t say it’s that different from other subpar shoujo.
I have to say that the characters have to be the selling point of this manga, because the art sure isn’t. No, it’s not the worst artwork I’ve seen, and it’s certainly not terrible. I’m glad to say that in her later works her skills improve, but what’s shown in “Nagatchou Strawberry” looks like a poor imitation of huge-eyed girls with thin and spindly arms and legs. The shading and backgrounds are fine, but the people need work; their eyes are a little too far apart sometimes and Hime looks too young to be in high school. I can’t say anything else is better than normal, though.
Hime, of course, is the best character. She might still pass off as a typical shoujo protagonist, but she has the most depth and development. Ignoring her quick attraction to the class playboy, she seems to have a pretty good head on her shoulders and is suited to be the prime minister’s daughter. Under her toughness she’s just a girl that wants to have a normal life. Her situation in this story makes her grow into someone that’s proud of her family and can lift her head high.
Unfortunately most of the other characters are a little flat. They’re somewhat predictable, fall into some of the mangaka’s clichés, or just aren’t very memorable. The exceptions are probably Hime’s dutiful butler and her moody best friend Eri-chan.
I read this manga with some halfhearted amusement, as it had been a while since I had read such a schoolgirl shoujo like this. To be honest, something like this is suited for a younger audience. That quick crush, little girl annoyances, etc… Though they’re in a high school setting, the characters act and look more like middle schoolers. It’s interesting to see the change in Natsuno when he interacts with Hime, though, and Hime herself is a girl worth observing at least for a little while. The final verdict, though, is that this is a manga one would probably forget.
What did you think of this review?