I should really do a mythology post soon; it has been a while since I did one. I have been reading a lot of manga lately and have hardly talked about 1/5 th of them, but Kengai Princess is one I really liked, so I thought I should share.
Kengai Princess is about Meguro Mito, a young girl who is kind of ugly (not because she is over weight, but just in general). She has little self-confidence and loves discussing otome games with her two best friends. She often gets bullied, but makes friends with a boy in her class after he sticks up for her. The first half of the manga is all about how she falls for her friend while growing as a person (and she becomes a little less ugly just by becoming more confident and happy). The second half is when she goes to high school. She exercises and learns to use makeup and becomes extra pretty, but this part feels more like basic romance manga tend to be.
Mito is the protagonist of the manga. She is a young middle school girl who loves otome games and is not very pretty (she has a chubby face even though her body is average weight). She is often bullied and does not do well socializing. After becoming friends with Kunimastu-kun, she slowly grows into a ‘normal’ girl and gains confidence in herself. When she goes into high school, she works extra hard for her high school debut. She exercises, learns to use make up, and gets cute clothes. She has a great personality that can be pretty funny at times, especially after she stops putting herself down so much.
Kunimastu is the classmate that saves Mito. He is an athletic young boy who seems stoic and cool, but is really just a simple sweet heart with little to say. He is kind and can be friends with just about anyone, and sees the good stuff about people. He and Mito become great friends, and he protects her many times when getting bullied (even beating the shit of one boy after he tells Mito to kill herself. This makes him go berserk because his own mother died, and he couldn’t take this lightly). I personally like him best.
Kanata is the second boy that Mito falls in love with. He looks just like the young man in her favorite otome game. He is a basic shoujo male protagonist. He is rich and mean with a tragic back story. He sleeps around and treats Mito badly, but gives her advice that allows her to grow (and she in turn gives him advice to grow too). Personally, I am not a fan. He is as typical and cliched as a target for shoujo love can get, but oh well.
I like the art. Its nothing extra different (seems like many other shoujo artstyles), but it is still super cute. I especially like how Mito is drawn. Even after becoming prettier she is still drawn differently from the other girls (round face) and lots of characters have small little imperfections which is nice.
To put this simply, I liked the manga. The very first part was the best. It felt like it would be a normal shoujo where the ugly girl falls for the average (not too rich or smart or talented) cute boy who like her for her. But instead, she gets rejected and has to continue on in her growth. Then she gets into high school and it becomes your basic otome game, shoujo romance, and its still great! I also liked how she really was ugly to begin with. She was not chubby or a glasses girl who was technically cute. She was unfortunate and drawn to be that way (I loved that she was not fat, cause I hate how they always use being ‘chubby’ means you are ugly and unattractive which doesn’t work when the characters are still cute). I am really glad I started to read it and it quickly became a favorite romance manga of mine. If you like romance manga, especially the kind where the main character female is not to annoying, then I really recommend this one.