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On Kabuchi-jima, an island ruled by Princess Kaguya, ten children were raised as sacrificial victims. Several of the children thought they had escaped their fate when they escaped the island. But nearly a decade later, the kids are still dying in the order and at the time they would have as sacrifices... Their only hope now is to reunite and return to the island to seek out and destroy the source--the legend, the blood-lusting Moon Princess--before time runs out.
In 2002 Kaguya Hime received the 47th annual Shogakukan Manga Award for shoujo.
เจ้าหญิงจันทรา (Thai) 輝夜姫 輝夜姬 월광천녀 -أميرة القمر (Arabic)- Kaguya Hime Kaguya-hime: The Moon Princess La Principessa Splendente Nàng Tiên Ánh Trăng Princess Kaguya (SHIMIZU Reiko) Princesse Kaguya (French) Prinzessin Kaguya (German) The Moon Princess
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The good, bad and confusing.
The story is entertaining, sure. Fast-paced, amazingly creative, dynamic actions, etc. But the plot tries to include such much meaning and so much characters that character development is lacking at the end of the day, even with 27 volumes. Yes, Shimizu-san is a definite fan of amazingly handsome and prestigious characters who attract people with everything about themselves: their face, their professionalism and even their FRAGILITY. This is key; the thing that either makes or breaks this manga for most people. Shimizu-san wanted to ultimately comment upon human nature; she wanted to explore whether even clones, who had replaced their genetic twin were entitled to their new, prestigious lives or to the hate they felt for the world. These people, these "donors" were basically a part of Akira's reverse-harem because of their pull to her by faith, and yet she was trying to appeal them to the readers by their dedication to her and their fragility.
It makes NO sense. Here are people who let a huge part of one's life - their love life, and really, all of their life, rely on "fate". Their attraction to Akira; they all swore to protect her infinitely; her pull on them was absolute. The fact that they accepted that so readily was already counterintuitive to the reader; I mean, they were frothing angry at having humans having created them as spare parts but they weren't angry and Kaguya Hime for making them bound to Akira for her revenge? Why? Because Akira's a very attractive girl who's also very fragile?
Honestly, the series really boiled down to a whole bunch of half-developed donors surrounding Akira whose sufferings were rather entertaining than solemnifying. No one could relate to her tantrums, her obsessive attraction for that one girl she grew up with, or why she chose the guy from the Moon; it was more like, at times, Shimizu-san threw us reasons, but we couldn't relate to them with our hearts. Akira seemed more like a selfish and pathetic girl. And the donors; even once they started to show signs of real "humanity" towards the end, it was unexpected and unwelcome because the one defined character development we got from them had been their love for Akira, which is real, was the only redeeming factor shown.
Seriously though. I think Shimizu-san's desire to have a really good manga was blotched by her desire to have Akira as an absolute femme fatale. The girl she grew up with was obsessed with her, all the donors were obsessed with her, the moon boy was obsessed with her; and usually, I'm amazingly flexible with well-off characters because I reason that that prestige isn't something that negates the reality of their struggles, but this was just ridiculous. Everyone was vying and messing up their lives for her, and she, totally ambiguous and wishy-washy and useless, messed everything up.
What saved this at least was the prince, and the ending. The prince (or king... Whatever...) was the one rational character in this entire thing. His love for Akira was, I think, the only real one, because he didn't feel the need to wave it around as a torch or sword all the time in front of everybody. And the extent to which he quitely understood her and watched by her was admirable. The ending was, in a much more Shimizu-san like fashion that I could appreciate (read "Himitsu" by her; it's an absolute masterpiece), bittersweet, inspiring of reflection and awe, morally complex, and sobering.
Even though the English scanlation of the series has not been completely scanlated, I have read this series in the Vietnamese version and, thus, can write a review about it. I really think this series would have benefited with another writer and Shimizu-sensei can do the illustration, because the art is pretty enough, albeit a little old. I don't mind the age of the characters because that isn't too important to plot development.
There is very little consistency in the characters, their relationships, and the plot development, especially the latter area. The pacing is also off: The beginning being really slow
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
with the Kaguya Hime mythology, being stranded on an island, and charactersí discovery of being experiments for other people, and all of sudden, the characters are off of the island, ESP, and whatever else is going on.
The relationships between the characters are fickle and can be hard to tell who is in love with whom.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Yui see-saws between Midori and Akira, while Akira alternates between Yui, Mayu, and Yu Lan (the servant girl, I believe that is her name), and everyone else is in love in love with Akira.
Yui would have been an interesting character, but Shimizu-sensei has reduced him into an indecisive and implausible character. I can say the same for Akira, because I feel so unsatisfied with her character development. My favorite characters are Midori and Miller, both of whom have relatively consistent development.
The plot becomes far-fetched as the series goes on. As with the characters, I wish the mangaka would pick one thing and focus on it, rather than to disintegrate the plot into many confusing fragments. By the time I reach volume 20, I could hardly continue on. I finished reading it out of obligation from starting, but I personally would not recommend it to others with it being this way.
... Last updated on November 18th, 2012, 1:40pm
Amazing! Very creative!
The plot is intense and captivating, with this strange intricacy that makes you feel that everything is not what it seems --and things are indeed not what it seems, there are mind-boggling twists which leave you thinking: WOW. The underlying story of Katsuya-Hime is twisted too (NOT a spoiler, it's already in the summary), which makes me yet again marvel at how creative the mangaka was.
--And no, the mangaka is not trying to be ridiculous, just imaginative.
BTW there is lgbt subtext in this manga: there are quite alot of andrognous bishies. But don't let that deter you, hetero ppl, as there is straight romance too~
And the art is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, with good backgrounds and people (who actually LOOK different from each other, unlike some other shojo mangas >>)
Even if you are not a shojo fan (i'm not.....), you should still read this!! It just keeps getting better and better...
I cried! *SPOILER*
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Ok, the whole series was absolutely amazing. The first few volumes did not say much and you can not guess what will happen in the first few volumes. I suggest that you don't try to predict whatever is going to happen at all because it's absolutely unpredictable! I was amazed! The plot turn out to be so much better then I expected it to be and it was a tradegic ending! The end was so sad... I absolutely think manga is one of the best I have ever read! The art is absolutely amazing. The manga/ story/ characters give you this really thrill feelings and you wouldnt excatly know why it did.. But yes, it still and tradegy and it's a must read one...
Is this manga trying to be ridiculous?
The premise for this series seemed interesting enough, so i gave it a go.
In the first volume :
-Two 15 years old smuggle flamethrowers out of the US military base in Japan and torch some paintings
-The same two 15 year olds steal a US military helicopter, fly it to a mansion, disable the security system and abduct a girl. Apparently they wanted to erase all traces of the girl's existence before abducting her(school records, etc).
-They take the girl back to the US military base. Nobody finds this odd at all. One of the 15 years old proceeds to steal a F-15 eagle and take it for a joyride, after only training in a few simulators, and is skilled enough to do stunts with it. Nothing happens to him for stealing the F-15.
-The two 15 year olds tell the girl an amazing story of how they used to be raised as sacrifices on an island for Kaguya-Hime, but they escaped, and she was one of them but they dropped her while on the run. Instead of being pissed at being kidnapped, she eventually agrees to go with them(despite having no memories of the event).
Eventually they head to the island, standard "stranded on island" scenario(no way off island, everyone that can help them covneniently died, etc). While the kids travel around the island unravelling the mystery of why they were stranded there, etc, the US military instructor with all the survival skills, etc, does nothing but walk around in BDSM outfits in a few(VERY few) scenes.
I dont know if this series is trying to be ridiculous or not...
I love it! The art is great the the plot is awesome! Really not the typical shoujo. I have just seen the raws of volume27. I think I know what happened, then again I don't really know anything about the kaguya hime. What I know is that... I'm just guessing... and akira, thank God you turn out that way! I was really anxious thats why i looked at the final volume. I can't believe Midori made it there. And yui, wah!
Another work of the mangaka is himitsu. Also a must read. There is also this moon child, I'm anxious again how it will end. I hope I can get a hold of the final volume, even the raw would be great.
cant stop reading!VERY GRIPPING! but it's not "very shoujo" like there was some mature part. it's like a survival game!MUST READ! it talks about one of japan's myth and i thought it ws interesting how the author wrote the manga about the story.
Shimizu Reiko's mangas always seem to be very deep in terms of psychology, emotions, and subjects, including Kaguya Hime. Personally, this is my favorite manga from Shimizu Reiko.
At the moment there are 3 volumes (out of 27 in Japan) so I can't say my opinion won't change later, but for now this manga is definitely one of the most memorable mangas I have read. I would recommend this manga if you liked Himitsu, Urasawa Naoki's works, Eternal Sabbath, or Telepathic Wanderers.
... Last updated on July 5th, 2007, 9:17pm
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