Mistress Fortune

February 11, 2011

Fourteen-year-old Kisaki Tachikawa has psychic powers. She works for PSI, a secret government agency that fights aliens. She’s in love with her partner Giniro, but PSI won’t allow operatives to get involved. Just when Kisaki thinks she may be getting closer to Giniro, she finds out she’s going to be transferred to California!

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Mistress Fortune
By Arina Tanemura
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Romance
Price: $9.99
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I haven’t had much luck with Tanemura titles. I really didn’t like her last title to finish here in the US, Gentleman’s Alliance Cross, but, ever the optimist, I decided to give this volume a try. It’s a one-shot, so I figured there wasn’t much to lose. Unfortunately, it looks like this is going to be strike two in my search for Tanamura title I like.

Mistress Fortune is an average magical girl shoujo title. Female lead Kisaki has fallen for male lead and partner Giniro, but they aren’t allowed to get involved. Kisaki is new to using her psychic powers and isn’t very good at it yet, so Giniro is always having to come to her rescue. Giniro doesn’t seem to feel the same way about Kisaki, and is instead more interested in getting pictures of her DD breasts. These moments usually end with Giniro getting punched and sent flying. The EBEs they are fighting look like floating stuffed animals, and the first one they fight was actually hiding by pretending to be one. He ends up being a sort of mascot for Kisaki and Giniro. The chapters have Kisaki and Giniro fighting EBEs and each other, and usually has at least one scene of Kisaki angsting over Giniro and their inability to be together.

There was very little to like about this title. The characters are about as boilerplate as you can get. There is nothing interesting about either of them. Kisaki’s constant tearing up and Giniro’s pervy actions got on my nerves fast. The story moves fast, going only three chapters. It starts with Kisaki lamenting her inability to be with Giniro and by the end of chapter three, they are together and solving Giniro’s problem with his mother. In between there is way too much drama and bits of humor that don’t really work. It really felt like it needed more development before rushing to the end. I don’t know if this was planned or ended prematurely, but it really feels like the latter more than the former.

The only really fun thing about this title is the character introduced at the end of the second chapter. Nancy Thistlethwaite, from the American branch of the PSI, is based on Tanemura’s Viz Media editor by the same name. At the end of the volume, Thistlethwaite explains some of the scenes with her and in America. It was very cool of Tanemura to do this.

The art is usual Tanemura with hair everywhere and huge eyes, but at least there is enough variation to tell everyone apart without a cheat sheet. The transformation of Kisaki and Giniro to Mistress Fortune is quick but cute, though I can’t really imagine a guy accepting “mistress” being part of a team name.

Overall, Tanemura succeeded in her goal of creating a series that was “silly, light, and cute,” just not really interesting. If it had gotten another chapter or two to develop Kisaki and Giniro’s relationship, I think it would have been more tolerable. Maybe I’ll have better luck with her next series Sakurahime. I do enjoy historic titles, fantasy or otherwise.

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4 Comments for this entry

  • Aaron says:

    I can sympithize with trying to find a title by Tanemura with a decent story but I think it’s a lost cause on my part all I can say is I like the artwork storywise maybe have somebody else do the story (ala Detah Note) but I dont think that would happan oh well

    • I forgot I had Time Stranger Kyoko complete (that how out of control my manga collection has gotten). I remember liking the preview chapter in Shojo Beat, so I’m gonna give that a try. If I remember correctly, it seemed different, in a good way.

  • Miki says:

    Hm… Try Full Moon wo Sagashite? I never finished reading the manga, but I did see the anime, and I don’t think they vary that much (I hear the manga’s just a tad darker). I’m not a Tanemura fan by ANY stretch of the imagination – her manga’s a bit soulless and sometimes incomprehensible for me, and the completely serious shojo-overload artwork is a bit much – but I enjoyed Full Moon. I have also heard positive things about Kamikaze Kaito Jeane, but I can’t vouch for that.

    • The premise of Kamikaze Kaito Jeane doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve looked at Full Moon a few times, but it seems like a real tear-jerker, and I’m not into deliberately putting myself into that kind of situation. Time Strange looks interesting, and it’s short, and even better incentive. Sakurahime I’ll give a try too.

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