Tricky Prince Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translation Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1569706077
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Tricky Prince

Tricky Prince Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     June 02, 2009
Release Date: January 28, 2009


Tricky Prince Vol. #01
© Digital Manga Publishing

When a poor and serious student catches the eye of an eccentric prince, wacky hijinks ensue

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Yukari Hashida
Translation: Sachiko Sato
Adaptation: Sachiko Sato

What They Say
Yujin Ratcliff is a very serious, yet impoverished student who somehow manages to continually be at the top of his class. On the evening of the school's big Christmas bash, Yujin's classmates decide to pull a side-splitting pratical joke on him, and they transform him into a princess! Suddenly all eyes are on the blond and striking young Prince Willis as he enters the room. Who knew that this joke would have been the commencement of the Prince's powerful attraction towards the "princess" Yujin? Find out what happens to poor Yujin now that he's being furiously pursued by the smitten Prince Willis in this hilarious take on the classic Prince and the Pauper.

The Review!
Packaging:
DMP lives up to their usual high standards here, with a full color dustjacket, fairly sharp art reproduction, and their usual very good print quality, although the blacks aren't as dark as they could be in places and some pages look almost faded.  If you've seen any of their books you know exactly what to expect here.

Art:
The art here is rather unusual, full of texture and shading that, unfortunately, isn't quite as forgiving when reproduced as sparser art styles.  There's plenty of screen tone to be found here, along with layouts that are crammed full of everything.  The character designs are definitely unique, especially some of the side characters.  All in all, a refreshing change from the ordinary.

Text/SFX:
All sound effects are translated, but unlike most of DMP's books, most of the original effects are replaced rather than being subtitled.  The translation itself flowed very smoothly, and did an excellent job of giving each character a distinctive voice.

Contents:
Eugene is a serious (and poor) college student who winds up dressed as a woman (complete with tiara!) one night as the result of a prank and hides in the bushes outside to get away from his grabbier classmates.  There, he manages to run into the campus superstar, no other than Prince Willis himself, who is immediately taken by Eugene's resemblance to his dead mother.  Thus begins Eugene's nightmare, as Willis proceeds to dominate his every move, forcing Eugene to dance along to his every whim.

Willis is irresponsible, domineering, more than slightly out of touch with reality...and lonely.  So, in his own unique fashion, he reaches out to Eugene in the only way he knows how, and ends up pulling him into Willis' decidedly less-than-normal world of paparazzi, family plots, hidden crypts, and oddly unconvincing disguises.  Eugene definitely is in for an education, and not the one he originally went to school for.

Comments:
This book is bizarre.  Utterly, completely, and totally bizarre.  The simple, ordinary guy meets the sheltered prince - it's a story that's been told a thousand times before (at least half of those in BL manga), and told before as a comedy, but never quite like this.  Willis has no connection to reality whatsoever, but he has a gift for sweeping up others along in his insanity.  The comedy is almost in spite of itself, simply because everything is so much absurdity writ large.  This isn't a book that shoots for believability, character growth, or any kind of ordinary story development - this is played strictly for the laughs in an over the top fashion, and it pulls that off admirably.  The disguise sequence in particular made me laugh completely involuntarily - I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but there you go.  This is a title that's going firmly into the "guilty pleasure" category.

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