Okay, so this is going to be a fun review!
Carat! is a pretty funny parody of the typical mahou shoujo manga you see out there. If you want something solid for this manga to be parodying, think Nanatsuiro Drops and all other similar manga/anime.
The story, as I think I said earlier, isn't very unique, but even so, it was pretty enjoyable. The mangaka didn't seem to bother making it their own in the most obvious ways, but when you get farther into the story, some of the things that happen are rather unique. What I really didn't like though was that they kept using some
of their jokes over and over again. I guess it's sort of a good thing the manga is so short. I'd hate to read over forty-five chapters of jokes that I already saw in the first thirteen (the manga is really 13 chapters).
The art was very very cute! It was cute enough to befit a magical girl manga, but not so much that I was contemplating tossing my computer out of a window. I really liked how the mangaka drew Kanon's hair when she transformed, since it looked so simple, yet complex. The way the mangaka also drew the basic body parts reminded me of other manga that I liked, which was a plus. I think what I liked most was probably the fact that Alto looked exactly like a girl, and wore short shorts as part of his magical girl outfit. I really wasn't sure if this was intentional or not, but I thought it was...crack-up worthy...
The characters. Were. Awesome.
Actually, they were pretty fun to watch (I say this in the broadest way possible, since this is, you know, a manga, not an anime), and I liked the way Kanon always used her favorite food as a weapon, creating several comical situations. Even the so-called villains were awesome. They were so gawd-awfully stupid and they kept fighting with each other (there were three 'bad-guys').
I really enjoyed parts of this manga and disliked others. But I would think this would be on the list of anyone who has some time to read some parody. Aaaaaaaand, it's got a boy dressing up as a girl. What's better than that? (jkjkjkjkjk *is shot*)