Such a life cannot be realized by anyone; particularly to those living in the small valley village that Friel is from. They hardly see people from the outside world already. For any one of them to even meet someone of royal lineage would a fantasy on its own. So, Friel tries to keep her stories of damsels carried off by some charming prince to herself. No need to get the hopes up for those with little hope.
One day, her life literally turns into a fairy tale exactly like the ones her mother told her. She was invited to a castle. She got to wear a fancy dress and dance with nobility. And when the night was over, she had her share of memories. Like the characters in many stories, she also shed her tears because she was not accepted. Furthermore at home, the fairy tale was more like a horror story where her family was attacked and now on the run.
Maybe fairy tales should be told not lived!
Coming into this property completely fresh, not having experienced the manga or anime before, I was looking forward to another easy to read simple nice on the eyes MagGarden title. MagGarden series tend to look good but be light on everything else. That can be great for a title like ARIA but I'd rather go elsewhere for good looking shonen fantasy fare. Seeing TOKYOPOP take on some of their titles was a pleasant surprise considering their history with another pub. And, with Good Witch and its anime connections I though the move was well planned.
Good Witch itself is a perfect title for TP. Essentially a fairy tale where the characters tell each other fairy tales, this title uses the first volume to introduce readers to the main characters and the serious problems the lead is going through. There is doubt about her past; much of which has been purposely kept from her. There are also conflicts with her family. The young lady with a personality that rightfully ought be in line for throne can only display that type persona when threatened. So you see there is a passive quality to Friel's strength.
Well that is what readers are led to believe. Friel is quite capable a person on her own. If not for some excessive restraint and a little bit of age related ignorance, she has a good head on her shoulders to go with her huge heart. This first volume is about her ability to exert her power. The traditional tale has a prince come in and sweep the girl away along with the glory. Friel does not care about the glory; her priorities are friends and family. Her power comes from that. So when she faces adversity those moments bring out her hidden (possibly suppressed) inner strength.
As far as stories go, I am not sold on this title. I tend to want to get a better grasp on the setting and history when reading fantasy titles like this. There is not enough background yet for me to honestly assess this series yet. I do feel Friel is one of the better female leads that I have seen in a while. Her strength is evident from early on. You can it in the way she carries herself and the way she deals with others. Characters like that are a treat to see especially in all-ages fantasies, though I am still on the fence with this for one reason. And even though this is not an all ages title (strangely this is a ¬gseinen¬h title), Friel¬fs adventures seem charming and fun enough to be enjoyed by more than a few readers out there.
I am still not comfortable with the lolicon moe designs, but if I ignore the art a decent tale lay within. Isn¬ft that often the moral of many fairy tales?