Ran is a spunky 4th-grader who has magical shoes that turn her into a beautiful high-school girl. Her entire family all has magical abilities, as her brother has a fur coat that can turn him into a wolf-type creature. For some of this novel, Ran tries many different methods to go visit her magical mother. We see Mom in her home village, destined to guard a gigantic door which potentially could let out some big-bad. Towards the end, Ran meets a snotty rich man who becomes obsessed with her older self.
While the art was absolutely spectacular, the story was super disjointed. We get a small snippet of her life as a fourth grader, but she spends way more time as a super-hot high school girl and away from her fourth grade life. Why is Ran bullied at school? They call her scrawny but we don't really get too deep into her school life, other than her teacher is worried about all her cuts and bruises. Then it shifts suddenly into Ran's obsession with flying, and I assume that's where she's getting the cuts from even though this isn't explicit. This story is trying to blend the slice-of-life with magical girl genres, so why do we need the creepy, older Otaro, who is trying to get Ran to sleep with him? I'm much more interested in what Ran's mom is guarding than some older dude who doesn't realize nor care that he's coming on way too strong to a fourth grader.
VIZ has this rated for Teen Plus, and the way things are going with Otaro, that is spot on. It's a shame though, because without that element, this would be a fine story to share with middle grade audiences.
Sara's Rating: 6/10
Suitability level: Grades 11-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.
Tags: Rating: 6/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Fantasy
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