Mamotte! Lollipop Volume 3
By Michiyo Kikuta
Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Age Rating: Teen 13+
Price: $10.99

ISBN: 0-345-49667-6

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Nina’s in love – but who’s the lucky boy? After all, what girl could choose between Zero and Ichi? They’re both wizards, and they’re both supercute! When a matchmaking witch slips Nina a love potion, will the magic spell help Nina choose her soul mate?

It’s almost been six months since Nina swallowed the Crystal Pearl and the end of the magic exam is fast approaching. Examinees are still popping in, and Nina still can’t decide between Zero and Ichi. But it’s not like everyone isn’t trying to help her along…

This volume starts with a staple of romance plots; the love potion. Nina accidentally pours it into lunch and everyone but Ichi falls for her. Only the kiss from someone who’s had the potion can break it, so she has to kiss Zero? Then Zero’s “fiancé” becomes an examinee just to try and get Zero to love her and puts a spell on him and Nina that will turn them into animals unless Zero agrees to go back with her. The last chapters have Nina getting kidnapped by another new pair of examinees who also tell people’s love fortunes. They then cast spells on Nina to try and get her to find her soul mate, but even magic can’t seem to solve this conundrum.

Mamotte! Lollipop is another romance fantasy for the younger girls. A very average romance fantasy. I didn’t read this volume so much as I just breezed through it. Every plot was so cliché, from the love potion, to the previously unknown fiancé, right up to the “big” climax at the end. It’s not only all been done before, it’s all been done better. This volume played like the obligatory middle of a trilogy before you get back to the action. There was no reason to introduce two *more* examinees with the exam so close to being over. Eleven and Twelve’s (yes, those really are their names) only purpose was to build up the romantic tension between Nina and Zero and Ichi, which they don’t succeed at. By the end of this volume, nothing has changed.

The best thing about this volume is the extra story “Sun on the 17th of July”. It tells the story of how Sun and Forte first met. It’s really touching and gives depth to the characters, something that we just don’t get in the actual story.

With the end of the exam coming up, you’d think the examinees would be more worried about who is in possession of Nina and the Crystal Pearl, not about who she’s in love with. All the regulars are together acting as friends instead of competitors. The story was more exciting when they were all plotting to get Nina. It’s like they’ve all given up, so there’s no real point in trying. Unless things change in the next volume, there won’t be a real point in continuing to read it either.

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