Review: Fairy Idol Kanon Volume 1

Fairy Idol Kanon Volume 1
By Mera Hakamada
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Age Rating: All Ages
Genre: Magical Girl/Fantasy
Price: $7.99
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Can a regular girl become a superstar celebrity? Kanon is an ordinary fourth grader who loves to sing more than anything else. When a magical fairy princess named Alto meets Kanon and decides to help start her singing career, their journey to fame takes off! Friendship and magic combine in this cute musical story!

Fairy Idol Kanon is another title aimed directly at girls.  Singing, fashion, stardom and fairies all make this the perfect title for young girls.  Almost too perfect.  It’s a safe story with all the messages that parents and teachers will love, while the girls will love the magic and bits of drama.

Kanon, Marika and Kodama are friends in the fourth grade.  The book starts with the three singing together to see who will get the solo role in the school play.  Even though Marika is technically better, Kanon get the role because her voice sounded warmer.  After school, the three friends are walking out when Kanon hears a cry for help.  Marika can hear it too, but Kanon springs into action faster.  They find a fairy who begs the trio to sing.  She needs to hear their harmony to get better.  Marika balks at first, but Kanon begs her and ever offers her the solo part to help the fairy.  Marika gives in and the fairy, Princess Alto is saved.  She then begs the three girls to help her save the fairyworld by spreading their harmony all over the world and giving the positive energy to the fairies.  After some debate, the girls decide to try to become Idol singers.  The rest of the volume follows their trials of getting permission from their parents to go to auditions, facing defeat at a fixed audition, meeting their first rival, Julia, trying to get scouted in Harajuku, and having a run in with dark fairy magic.

Fairy Idol Kanon has everything you’d expect in a magical girl’s manga.  The cute and perky lead, her supportive, though sometimes competitive friends, a villain to try and thwart them, and other people who come out to help after hearing them sing.  It’s all there in an almost “by the numbers” way.  You can just imagine a checklist as this manga was being created and each item being checked off with each chapter.  As an adult, having read many manga, the whole title came off as bland.  It’s themes of “the strength of friendship”, “cheaters never prosper”, and “winning isn’t everything” are just as vanilla, and only seem to burden the story further.

That said, for a tween girl, this story is everything they love tied up together with a pretty pink bow.  The lead characters, Kanon, Marika and Kodomo are very relatable.  Kanon’s love of singing and Marika’s dreams of stardom are the same things their readers think about.  And girls just love fairies.  They go together like peanut butter and chocolate.  Alto’s magic wand that can change the girl’s clothes into beautiful idol dresses or comfy gym sweats for a relaxed audition will be appealing as well.

The title’s themes are presented through the chapters in an easy to see, but not flashing arrow way.  Older readers will recognize them for what they are immediately, while younger readers will get the message without realizing that’s what it is.  I especially appreciate that the girls don’t succeed immediately.  They lose their first audition, as well as the Junior Nationals.  But each time they fall down, there is usually someone there, who has heard them sing, that is ready to pick them up.  I enjoy books with the “never give up” theme.

Fairy Idol Kanon is another great way to introduce young readers to manga. The art is cute but simple, so it doesn’t distract from the story. There is nothing objectionable in any of the chapters, so parents and elementary librarians can feel safe letting them read it. The girls have some trouble at the second audition with a light nearly hitting one, and some dark fairy magic meant to keep them from singing, but no one is hurt.  Just don’t try and get a girl to read it because it’s safe for them.  It’s all about the fairies, magic and song to them.

One thought on “Review: Fairy Idol Kanon Volume 1”

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