Shugo Chara Vol. #04 (Mania.com)

By:Danielle Van Gorder
Review Date: Monday, August 25, 2008
Release Date: Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Peach Pit
Translated by: Satsuki Yamashita
Adapted by: Nunzio DeFilipis and Christina Weir

What They Say
CHARACTER SWAP!

Amu has three Guardian Characters, reflections of her true self. But now a fourth egg has shown up at the start of a new school year. Everything has gone wrong, and Amu has no idea who she truly wants to be. Meanwhile, her rival Utau has rejected one of her own Guardian Characters. Is it time for the two to trade Guardians? Is that even possible?

The Review
 Amu's pretty excited by the start of a new school year, as well as the new Guardian Egg that showed up, but things seem to take a pretty drastic turn for the worst before too long.  Fujisaki is gone, studying dance overseas without even a word to Amu, and the new girl in class, Rima, is likely to make things even more difficult.  She's popular with the boys, but the girls in class hate her because of her attitude, and the two groups set her and Amu up as rivals.  As if this weren't enough, Rima ends up becoming the new Queen Chair, and Amu gets paired with her, and the new Jack Chair is extremely critical of the job she's been doing as the Joker.  It's like things just keep getting worse and worse. 

She's not the only one having a tough time.  El, Utau's angelic guardian character, doesn't like what Utau's doing, but she doesn't get a say, she doesn't get to character transform, and she doesn't get any respect.  When she runs away from home, she winds up deep in enemy territory - in Amu's house!  When Utau and Amu come face to face again, the stakes have changed.  Can Amu defeat Utau with her heart as weak as it is right now?  And will Amu's new ally really be of any use?

There's an interesting side story at the end of the volume that reveals quite a bit about Fujisaki and her family that could lead to some interesting plot dynamics.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes of that.  This volume overall was fantastic - the earlier volumes were cute, but not addictive.  This one changed all that, with some interesting developments that have me hooked and dying for the next volume, just so I can see what happens.  It's still nothing really groundbreaking, but it's cute, and the characters continue to be a ton of fun.



Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-0-345-50522-4
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Shugo Chara