Shugo chara – Manga Review

5 Sep
 

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Shugo-Chara seems, at first glance, like a cross between Cardcaptor Sakura and Gakuen Alice, with the main Tsundere heroine Amu Hinamori being quite similar to Sakura with her job of cleansing the “bad eggs” – much like how Sakura cleansed the cards in Cardcaptor Sakura; and her main rival Ikuto Tsukiyomi being a perfect rip-off of Natsume Hyuuga. Really, there’s absolutely no difference! 
And yet, there’s something about it that draws you in – be it the goth-punk-tsundere lead girl or the emo and flirty Ikuto. The manga has a nice blend of comedy, action and fantasy without anything blindingly ‘shojo’ in it.
Plot
The story of Shugo-Chara revolves around Amu Hinamori who is, as earlier described, a perfect tsundere goth-punk character who has a reputation of being ‘cool and spicy’ in the middle school she studies in. However, this is not her true character. Her true self happens to be an extremely shy girl with absolutely no talent in socializing which she covers up perfectly with a cold exterior demeanor. Tiring of this duel personality, one night she makes a wish to give her enough courage to be her true self. 

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As a result of this, three eggs are born the next day, each of which hatches into little fairy characters called ‘Shugo-Chara’ who represent her inner desires: Su, who represents her wish to be good at cooking; Ran, who represents her wish to be good at sports and Miki, who represents her wish to be artistic.

The fact that she owns them is however discovered by the four guardians of the school, who are basically students with their own shugo-chara taking care of the schools administration. They request Amu to be a part of the guardians and ask her to help them find the ‘Embryo’ – a mythical egg that fulfills the owner’s desire. This gets Amu involved in a lot more than she bargained for as she is assigned to be a cleanser of the ‘x-eggs’ which are eggs that represents the wishes of children who have given up on it and not to mention, fight against the evil organization ‘Easter’, that is set out to look for Embryo too.
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This introduces her to the character Ikuto who is sent by Easter and is also after the Embryo for his own personal reasons. As the story unfolds, Amu begins to discover the true nature of the organization and also the mysterious character Ikuto, who strangely seems to be helping her more than going against her. 
But the beauty of the story lies in the intricate manner in which the author has slipped in the situations that we face in real life, that bring us down and force us to lose our true self and cast away our dreams. This, being the central theme of the entire story, is given extreme importance. The author continues to play with the same issue with different personalities who have different priorities and the various methods they resort to in order to deal with their problems and in the end find their true self in their own way.
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This is not the only concern it deals with though. As Amu continues to cleanse each egg, a new problem and a new concern is brought into light with the appearance of each egg and the cleansing indicating that there is always a way out of any tribulation or concern as long as one believes in himself/herself.
Characters
As I mentioned before, the most refreshing thing about Shugo-Chara is the fact that the lead girl is not the usual happy-go-lucky and super optimistic hyperactive girl. Instead, she has her own confusions about what she truly is – she is bratty, she can bad mouth anyone if she wants and she’s an imperfect and insecure girl who is still looking for her true self and has a lot more crushes on her classmates than she can handle!
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Apart from her, most of the characters are the usual kind and sweet supporters of the main girl, always guiding her from the sidelines. Be it the Prince-Complex Tadase or the cross dresser Nadeshiko or the baby of the group, Yaya, they never fail to keep you entertained.
And another interesting character is Ikuto, who, like I mentioned before, is a perfect rip-off of Natsume. He seems like someone who’s forced to be bad for some of his own personal reasons and is fighting to free himself from it. And thus, he finds a strange solace in Amu who can strangely see right through him and believes that he might not really be as bad as he looks. 
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Artwork
Art style of peach pit seems to fit the shojo feel of the manga perfectly. In case you happen to be a girl who is an ardent shojo fans, you would immediately fall in love with Amu’s goth-punk style of dressing. The character designing is quite unique, with each character having their own distinct style and look that sets them apart.
Shugo Chara might seem like a typical shojo at first glance, but I guess it all depends on the way you perceive it. It remains as an entertaining shojo if you don’t bother to look much into the story and it seems like a life lesson if you try and figure out the subtle messages hidden throughout the story. 
If you don’t mind the slight childishness of the story (apart from Ikuto who easily makes you forget that the story is originally for young girls) this is something that is sure to keep you entertained!
– By Seema Kakade
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One Response to “Shugo chara – Manga Review”

  1. WWW.ChiCha.in September 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

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