Princess Ai: Roses & Tattoos Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 14.99
  • Pages: 42
  • ISBN: 1-59816-747-2
  • Size: A4
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Princess Ai: Roses & Tattoos Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     March 09, 2007
Release Date: February 06, 2007

Princess Ai: Roses & Tattoos Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Writer/Artist: Courtney Love, DJ Milky, Misaho Kujiradou
Translated by:
Adapted by:

What They Say
TOKYOPOP invites fans to beautify their surroundings with gorgeous art and poetry from Princess Ai: Roses & Tattoos. This limited edition collectible book, in stores now, presents never-before-seen illustrations by Misaho Kujiradou, along with poetry by D.J. Milky, and includes stickers and mini-posters for d'Ai-hard diva fans!

The Review
It's definitely pretty.


The packaging on this release is really phenominal. The cover has a closeup shot of Ai holding up her gloved hands next to her face, and a row of really detailed roses and wings. The cover blurb on the bottom left detailing the contents is really kind of distracting. The book itself is hardcover, with a front flap that velcros shut - heart shaped velcro, no less. There's a lot of attention to detail here.

Inside, the book looks more like a diary or a day planner than an artbook. There's a pocket on the inside of the front cover, contributing to the general day planner feel of the book. The whole thing is spiral bound, with two pages of introduction and general information before the real meat of the book starts. Overall, a very nice release.


The art ranges from very detailed to fairly minimalist, but most of it will be familiar to fans of the series. There's not a whole lot that's new here, which is kind of disappointing.


There's not a whole lot of text in this, the focus is really on the art. The poems are in a variety of fonts, some more readable than others.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Once you get the book open and pass the introduction pages, the art pages - actually mini posters - are in side-loading plastic sleeves, complete with holes, so if you rip them out and trim them, you really can put them in a notebook or planner. There are poems on the reverse of each image, along with notes about where the image was originally printed, definitely a nice touch. While there are six new images in this section, none of them are of Ai. But with only sixteen of these pinup art pieces total, it just doesn't feel like enough. As for the poems, well - if you're looking for deep literary insight, this isn't the place.

Following the section with the mini-posters is an eight page sneak preview for the Ai-Land Chronicles, which is described as an "exclusive collectible series for Princess Ai Fans," and will contain original art and poetry with commentary. The preview includes some art and poetry submitted by a variety of people, along with a longer writeup describing what the project is all about. The page layouts here are incredible, clearly a labor of love. They're interesting, dynamic, and creative - if this is a taste of what is to come in the Ai-Land Chronicles, fans of Princess Ai are in for a real treat.

At the end of the book, there are some advertisements for the Princess Ai boxed set, the Bizenghast: Falling into Fear book, and a series of Princess Ai figures. Closing out the book are the twelve pages of stickers - a somewhat disingenuous description, since there are just four unique pages of sitckers that are repeated three times. Still, there's a nice mix of Ai in various outfits and poses, logos from the series, and various items found in the manga - including the infamous Heart-Shaped Box.

I think I would have appreciated a larger focus on some of the incredibly detailed costume designs from the manga, and a larger variety of artwork. If you're looking for a traditional artbook, this probably isn't what you're looking for. Despite a few disappointments, this is a really beautiful release. It was clearly a labor of love with the amount of detail included, so fans of the series shouldn't be disappointed.


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