Apparently, being a lizard can solve all your problems… except for birds.
Writer/Artist: Asuka Izumi
Translation: Sheldon Drzka
Adaptation: Sheldon Drzka
What They Say
Canary, princess of Linaria, has been unwillingly betrothed by her father to Prince Heath of Gazaria. The Prince isn't crazy about this idea either, so he hatches a plan to disrupt the pending nuptials. He gets his brother Sienna to pose as him on their first date, convinced he'll drive her away. The plan backfires when chemistry ignites between Canary and Sienna. But a spell Sienna has been under turns him into a lizard, a state he reverts to once he's done posing as his brother. Will love really conquer all in this mixed-up triangle?
The cover on this book is… rather unattractive due to a number of questionable choices. Firstly, the colors chosen on both the front and back are rather nasty looking. The front cover has way too much tan, white, and brown leaving only Canary’s shirt and eyes for color contrast. The back cover, on the other hand, leaves a plain red text over a green border, which is rather ugly to look at. Then we have the issue of the choice to use the prince in his overly simple lizard form on both the front and back images, which clashes with the detailed drawing of Canary and looks rather out of place. And one last small annoyance comes in the form of coloring continuity, as Canary has red eyes on the front yet green eyes on the back for no adequately explained reason, which is slightly unsettling. The paper used in this release also feels a little on the weak, thin side. On the other hand, a rather nice amount of extra commentary from the author is included in the back of the book in addition to a handful of bonus images, so it isn’t all bad.
The translation of the text is solid and readable. Honorifics are maintained in the bonus story at the end, meaning that their absence is most likely in the original work as well, but it is possible that this is a change made by the translator in order to help the text better fit the “royal” setting. Lacking an original text to reference I can’t say for sure, but either way due to the stories setting it doesn’t seem at all awkward to see them absent in the text. Sound effects are translated and replace the original characters, which is at least better than leaving them untranslated.
The artwork in this series is solid as a whole, but the lizard form of the prince is far too simplified and clashes with the otherwise detailed character designs. While it is clearly done purposefully for comedic effect, it just doesn’t work and hurts the book significantly. Backgrounds are acceptable but not exceptional when they appear, and characters are drawn with enough variety that you shouldn’t be mistaking them for one another.
Princess Canary of the kingdom of Linaria has no expectations whatsoever when she goes to meet prince Heath Hyrangea for the prospect of an arranged marriage. It turns out Heath, who has quite the reputation of gambling, drinking, and keeping the company of quite a few women, also has no interest in meeting Canary. In order to “let her down easy” and avoid causing an international incident, Heath uses a special medicine to switch places with his magical talking lizard (don’t worry, that’ll make a little more sense later.) The lizard, however, quickly forgets Heath’s commands and falls for the princess, who in turn falls for the surprisingly kind “Heath.” Upon returning for a second meeting, Canary meets the real Heath and quickly realizes he is not the man she fell in love with. She then “persuades” Heath (in other words, beats him to a pulp) to show her the lizard and she declares her love for him. Her love breaks the spell that had been placed on him as a child, and the lizard is returned to his true form, prince Sienna, Heath’s elder brother.
Despite having returned to his human form, Sienna still possesses the ability to return to lizard form at will. Turning back, however, often requires time, giving us the “gimmick” for the rest of the book. In one chapter, Sienna is trapped in lizard form as Canary’s lizard hating mother has her guards hunt him down. In the next, Sienna has to disprove the claims of a man who has come to his kingdom claiming to be the true Sienna Hyrangea. Afterwards, Canary and Sienna journey to the beach and attempt to reunite a ghost with his true love. And finally, Canary and Sienna are forced to watch over a baby… and help Sienna get over his fear of children. The book closes with a bonus chapter set around the rather odd concept of falling in love based off high and low body temperatures.
The story in this book is rather average as a whole. The love between the two main characters is fairly generic (although it does make for a somewhat hilarious tagline on the back of the book) and most of the secondary characters only get a chapter to work out what little backstory they have. As a result the book is left relying on the gimmick of Sienna’s ability to turn into a lizard, which does manage to create a few humorous situations but is overused and honestly not all that interesting. This book is decent, but far from exceptional.