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Manga Review: Mistress Fortune by Arina Tanemura

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Mistress Fortune is a manga by Arina Tanemura, and it was published by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2011. This volume is rated “T” for teens; after reading this manga, I would agree with this rating.

There are two main characters in Mistress Fortune: Kisaki Tachikawa and Giniro Hashiba. They’re both 14-year-olds who work for PSI, a secret government agency that employs people with psychic powers to fight aliens. Kisaki and Giniro work together as a team known as “Mistress Fortune;” Kisaki’s code name is “Fortune Tiara” and Giniro’s code name is “Fortune Quartz.”

Kisaki has fallen in love with Giniro, but it seems all he’s interested in is Kisaki’s breast size. Not only does Kisaki lack the courage to confess her feelings to Giniro, but PSI strongly discourages its operatives from sharing personal information and getting involved with each other outside of training and missions. Between battling aliens and wrestling with her feelings for Giniro, Kisaki has it pretty tough.

Mistress Fortune tries to take a typical shojo story and dress it up with supernatural and otherworldly elements. I’m glad to see that Tanemura only ran this story for three chapters and had it released as a single volume manga. It’s a story that really wouldn’t have worked if she had tried to make it any longer than the three chapters and two bonus stories that are included in this manga volume. With the way the concept of this story is executed, there’s just no way it would sustain a manga series.

In some respects, the art in this manga is an interesting mixture of styles. While it is primarily made up of the typical styles and tropes one would expect from a shojo manga for girls, there are also a number of “busy” action panels that are usually associated with shonen manga series for boys. Another thing that really strikes me about the art is simply how “bright” it looks. Even though all the panels may be in black and white, there’s just something about how Tanemura drew many of the panels that make them look bright; also, there are a number of panels where the characters look like they’re trying to jump right off of the page.

Admittedly, Mistress Fortune falls into the kind of shojo manga that I don’t personally have much interest in. The only thing that truly made an impression on me in this manga volume was the art. However, I think it’s an enjoyable read for manga readers who enjoy typical shojo stories with a supernatural twist to them.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.