Mania Grade: C
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Text/Translatin Rating: A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: 801 Media
- MSRP: 11.95
- Pages: 200
- ISBN: 978-1-897376-61-4
- Size: 8 ¼ x 5 ¾
- Orientation: Left to Right
- Series: Magical JxR
Magical JxR Vol. #01
By Briana Lawrence
January 31, 2008
Release Date: December 30, 2007
Magical JxR Vol.#01
© 801 Media
Translated by:Udon Entertainment
Adapted by:Udon EntertainmentWhat They Say
Jay and Aru are two of the most popular students in wizardry school. However, before they can graduate, they must venture out into the HUMAN world and fulfill a one year magic contract with a human girl named Cho-Ah. Is Cho-Ah ready for a whole year with two enthusiastic wizards-to-be at her back and call?The Review
Two wizards plus a kickboxing queen equals magical disaster!Packaging:
The front cover is full of bright colors, flowers, sparkles, and stars. There are two unbelievably pretty boys; one who looks eternally happy with his large eyes and bright smile while the other has a stony, emotionless expression on his face. On the bottom left-hand corner of the cover is a red stamp that has the title of the story written in white. The back cover has a school girl sitting down, a magical looking card hovering over her hands. Behind her is a man whose smoking a long pipe and smirking, his eyes narrow like a cat whose planning to pounce at a bird. The back cover is just as bright and colorful as the front. Artwork:
Everyone in this story is beautiful, with large eyes or hair that flows all over the pages of the book. The backgrounds are pretty par for the course: girl’s bedroom, school, and the occasional stores and trees when outside. For the most part the pages focus on the characters and the backgrounds will disappear to show close up shots of them, especially if someone is using magic (in which the character will usually take up the entire page). One thing that should be noted is the clothing: everyone’s outfits are incredibly detailed and every character has his or her own style.
Besides being covered in flowers and sparkles, the art is full of laugh-out-loud humor with its sweatdrops, chibi-fied characters, and comedic battles between Jay and Aru. It’s the type of art where you can hear the random sound effects in your head as you read it, you can hear the girls squealing over a beautiful guy and you can hear the birds chirping when a character passes out. Text/SFX:
Anything that’s written in Korean is translated near the text, therefore, there’s no need for a page of translations. This includes certain signs that may be inside of a character’s house or magic spells that require more than one word to cast them. All sound effects are written out in big, bold letters, whether it be a “smack” or a character pointing at another character. All thoughts are done outside of the speech bubbles while narration is done in text boxes. Anything that needs to be explained to the readers (such as certain rules or events at the wizardry school) is done in a black text box or bubble with white font.Contents:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first half of the story is full of overly cute fluff where we get to see Jay and Aru as kids who hate each other/care about each other. There’s some magical porridge, a wizardry school dance competition, and plenty of teeth rotting moments between the two of them.
The actual story that‘s mentioned on the back cover takes almost 80 pages to kick-off. Jay and Aru are teenagers and they meet Cho-Ah, an ordinary 16 year old girl who has a rather interesting quirk: she’s the “Queen of High Kick,” taking after her kickboxing champ of a father. She and her friends are trying to do volunteer work so that they can win a contest where they get to spend the day with “Mr. S,” the most popular entertainer in all of Korea. Jay and Aru are quick to help in an attempt to get on Cho-Ah’s good side, collecting donations from people with their magic show.
Before they can all celebrate a job well done the piggy bank full of money is stolen! They all rush in after the culprit and are surprised to see that it’s a spoiled brat of a rich kid, but why would a kid who has everything need to steal? They find out that the kid is actually in love with a girl who doesn’t give him the time of day, not at all impressed with his expensive cell phone and gaming systems. So he decides, in some rather backwards logic, that since she’s not impressed with his money that he will take someone else’s money to buy her the snow-globe she wants. Jay, Aru, and Cho-Ah show him that money isn’t everything and that a gift from your heart is better appreciated.Comments
Truthfully, I was interested in this story because it sounded like a boy’s love story and the two main characters sort of look like Riku and Sora from “Kingdom Hearts.” Excuse me while my inner “Square Enix” fangirl squees in delight. All fangirling aside, this volume can be summarized as follows: two pretty boy rivals who use opposing types of magic are tossed into predictable situations that try, and fail, to keep a reader’s interest.
There’s humor, there’s pretty characters, a teacher who randomly turns into a bear when angry, and other quirky magic spells. Unfortunately the humor, beautiful boys, and cute girls don’t save this first volume from being rather boring. The plot is very simple and cliché with overused lessons of true friendship. What’s worse is that there are 70+ pages that feel totally irrelevant to the story. After surviving the sugary times of Jay and Aru as second graders the book, with a turn of a page, suddenly jumps into the plot that’s on the back cover, making the first half feel completely pointless. As if magical porridge and school dances weren’t cute enough we now have charity work and gift giving in the second half. And that’s about as exciting as the book gets.
The only thing saving this story is the fact that this is only the beginning, so maybe, maybe, things will get more interesting in the next volume. But if this pace keeps up then this series, as pretty as it is, will be a big waste of time.