Fairy Navigator Runa Vol. #01 - Mania.com

Manga Review

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translation Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 10.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 978-0345522269
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Fairy Navigator Runa

Fairy Navigator Runa Vol. #01

Fairy Navigator Runa Vol. #01 Manga Review

By Matthew Warner     August 10, 2010
Release Date: May 25, 2010

Fairy Navigator Runa Vol. #01
© Del Rey Manga

A surprisingly interesting tale of myths and monsters.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Miyoko Ikeda and Michiyo Kikuta
Translation: Joshua Weeks
Adaptation: Joshua Weeks

What They Say
As a baby, Runa Rindo was left in front of a school for foster children, wearing a mysterious pendant. Now she's in fourth grade and strange things are starting to happen around her. It's only a matter of time before she discovers her secret powers - and her quest as the Legendary Fairy Child begins!

The Review!

The cover here presents a nice, simple, cutesy image of Runa, as well as Mokke and Suneri in their tiny animal forms.  It’s simple, but rather charming and works well here.  The back cover contains a small synopsis, as well as a chibi-style image of Runa with her powers activated.  The image works well, but the text takes up half of the page and is simply placed over a plain white background, which looks rather unappealing and bland.  The paper feels solid, and translation notes are included, which is helpful.  The text reads smoothly, and honorifics and original sound effects are retained.
The artwork here seems simple at first, but the smooth style works rather well here, and a good amount of detail appears in the plentiful and beautiful dynamic shots throughout the volume.  Backgrounds appear often and contain a decent, though not exceptional, amount of detail.  All in all, a rather nice looking book.
Runa is a young orphan who’s a bit clumsy and loves to hang out with her friends.  Though she feels her best friend Sae (Who she calls Chae) is growing a bit distant, things seem to be going fairly well for Runa.  Of course, with memories of the woman who raised her mentioning a “hidden power” inside her, and a mysterious pendant left behind by her parents, Runa’s peaceful life is obviously going to be thrown into turmoil before long.  As if in response to these memories/blatant exposition, a mysterious boy named Mokke and girl named Suneri appear, asking if she’s the “Legendary Girl” they’re looking for.  Once they start hugging her and calling her princess, Runa decides it’s time to get out of there and flees as fast as her legs can take her.  Mokke chases her down and yells he’s here to protect Runa, which totally proves he’s a good guy.  Oh, and then they leave, but not before swiping Runa’s pendant when she’s not looking.  Sure, they do it as a “test” to awaken Runa’s powers, but it’s still kind of a dick move.  Runa goes looking for it and makes up with Sae in the process, who promptly gets attacked by the vicious scythe weasel evil fairy… thing, named Kamachi (Well, he’s really just a weasel with scythe powers, but everything mystical is apparently a “fairy” in this series.)  After he realizes Runa is the one he’s after, he resumes his attack, but Mokke and Suneri jump in with their owl/cat powers and swiftly defeat him.  Of course they let him get away with Sae (Hell, they even watch him do it and don’t even attempt to stop him), allowing him to set up his revenge later, but hey, worry about problems as they arise, right?
Anyway, Runa wakes up in a hospital, listens to what the talking owl and cat in front of her have to say, and then proceeds to slowly begin to awaken her powers and hear the voice of the “other her” inside her head.  Oh, and she meets a mysterious boy named Tai and his odd looking dog, but they don’t show up again in this volume.  Now that her powers are awakening, she chases Kamachi to a rooftop, where he promptly crushes Mokke and Suneri because his powers are wind based, thus the wind on the top of the building gives him the advantage.  Runa quickly turns the situation around, however, by awakening both the power of the third eye in the back of her neck and that of her pendant.  These impressive powers allow Runa to defeat Kamachi and send him back to the fairy world, earning her the title of Fairy Navigator.  Sae is rescued, and everything ends well, but further adventures and challenges surely await Runa in the future.

In Summary:
As Fairy Navigator Runa begins, it quickly appears to be going down a bland and generic path.  With a multitude of clichés thrown at the reader right off the bat, one might be quick to right this one off, but by the end of the volume things really start to shape up.  Runa may start off as your basic klutz, but as the book closes she has grown to someone cool and powerful.  While the other supporting characters seem a bit weak thus far, Sae comes off fairly well, and Kamachi makes for a surprisingly solid villain, though he isn’t likely to come back.  Hopefully subsequent volumes will be able to take the foundation created here and build upon it, because this series certainly has the potential to become something special.


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