Prince Charming Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Briana Lawrence
Review Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And they all lived happily ever after… not really.  It’s more like, “And they all lived,” and that’s about it.  It ends realistically is what I should say.  There’s no lovey dovey, happy go lucky ending where Asahina declares his undying love to Yuasa, nor is there a huge wangst fest with the love triangle situation or with Nagai’s feelings for Yuasa.  Everyone just sort of continues with their lives, which fits this story perfectly.

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Akemi Takaido
Translated by:Ken Wakita
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Two is a couple and three is a crowd! Asahina was living the perfect life with his student Yuasa until Kagami showed up as a third wheel. Somehow, Asahina's rival in love has moved into his apartment and the two are now vying for Yuasa's affection?!

The Review

The volume starts out with a humorous monologue where Yuasa explains Asahina’s morning routine via classic fairy tale.  Asahina is a sleeping beauty, complete with adorable woodland creatures, but when he wakes up he’s instantly grumpy and the cute squirrels and birds flee for their lives.  Yuasa feels that its his duty to protect his sensei from the dangers of the world, like the handsome prince who rescues the damsel in distress which, of course, leads to an image of Yuasa with a sword and Asahina dressed as a princess.  Though the normal routine is interrupted because Kagami is still living with them and is still making moves on Asahina.  He takes a bold step by attacking Asahina in the shower, complete with REE REE REE sound effects ala “Psycho,” but Yuasa pulls him out before he can go all the way. 

Should not have been pretty.  Definitely should not have been pretty.  And Asahina is left being confused… again. 

We also find out that things are still pretty disoriented between Yuasa and Nagai; Yuasa hasn’t quite sorted out his feelings yet and Nagai is still in love with him.  And this is the part of the story where ANOTHER plot jumps into the boy‘s love stew.  Nagai meets Yuzusaka, an underclassman who wants to paint a portrait of him (and who obviously has the hots for him).  But his methods are pretty underhanded; he steals Nagai’s phone, finds out Yuasa is living with Nagai, and flat out says that he’s blackmailing him to get what he wants.   This is where I started to lose my love for this series.  I absolutely hate when a series has plenty of plot to solve, yet it decides to add something else that isn’t really necessary, especially when its added in the last volume.  Yuzusaka isn’t needed, at all.  There’s plenty going on and plenty of love triangles/rectangles/whatever angles to work out, so why did we need a blackmailing plot? 

Meanwhile, during this extra plot, we cut back to Asahina and Kagami who are… having sex in the library.  Yes, Asahina finally gives in, and Yuasa walks in just in time to see Kagami slamming Asahina against a table and having his way with him.  This leads to Yuasa punching Kagami in the face later, then going back home to his family to forget about everything that’s happened.  The blackmail plot between Nagai and Yuzusaka starts to fail, because when they kiss Yuzusaka pushes Nagai away, clearly not getting what he wants--we can assume what he wants is for Nagai to kiss him because he wants to, not because he’s told to.  And now, back at school, Asahina and Yuasa finally talk about the situation with Kagami.  I do admit, I like how honest they are with each other (Asahina admitting that he probably likes Kagami because he has a seductive charm) and in the end Yuasa gets a semi-love confession.  It’s not flowery or sappy, its basically Asahina saying something along the lines of, “I let you stay at my place without kicking you out, didn’t I?”  Yuasa accepts his words, but soon they are interrupted by the school principal.  Word gets out fast about their relationship after that, and we find out that Asahina let himself take the heat for all of it and resigns, giving up his job as Yuasa gets off scott free. 

The rest of the story after that is kinda… I don’t know how to describe it.  The blackmail story ends really lamely, with Yuzusaka apologizing to Yuasa because his cousin tells him to, and his cousin just so happens to have a bit of history with Yuasa because he use to be on the soccer team.  After the apology, we never see Yuzusaka again and the situation is resolved.  Like I said… lame ending to that plot.  There are three epilogues; one for Nagai, one for Kagami, and one for Asahina and Yuasa.  The three boys (Kagami, Yuasa, and Nagai) are friends again, and Asahina gets a new job as a high school teacher.   

While I do enjoy the ending of everyone just kind of living their lives, there’s some things I didn’t really like.  Really, really didn’t care for Yuzusaka at all, and you can sort of tell that this was a last minute idea because it ends so easily.  Sadly, without him being in love with Yuasa, Nagai just sort of… disappears in the background.  I much preferred him as the best friend who loved too much, but when that dynamic ended I just… kind of stopped caring, especially with this forced last minute plot.  I understand that the boy needs to move on, but to introduce this kid whose forcing him into a relationship then just disappearing when his cousin tells him to stop?  Really, really lame.  Kagami… I’m still not quite sure if he was in love with Asahina.  Part of me thinks he was, he just doesn’t pursue him anymore after the library incident because he isn’t the type of person to go after love if there’s an obstacle in the way.  At the same time I sort of think he was doing all of that to get Asahina to realize what he really wanted, because he seems content with him and Yuasa being together.  As for Asahina and Yuasa, they end as happily as they can.  There’s still no major love confession, which I really liked, because Asahina isn’t that type of person at all.  They also resolve the Kagami love affair pretty easily, which fits them--just calm conversation and Asahina admitting that he wants to be with Yuasa… in his own way (resigning so Yuasa can stay in school, for example). 

All and all I do like the series as a whole, but there’s just plot points that come up in this volume that makes me feel a little disappointed in this last installment.  If you’ve been keeping up with this series of manga, then this definitely is a must read just to see how it all ends.   



Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
MSRP: 12.95
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1-56970-814-9
Size: A5
Orientation: Right to Left