Sugar Sugar Rune, vol. 5

717176.jpgIt’s odd to think about how I dropped off following Sugar Sugar Rune with this volume while it was still in print, because the story takes a sharp turn that reinvigorates an already solid series into something new.

The last volume ended with Chocolat and her gang joining Vanilla on a beach getaway. A mysterious force pulls Chocolat underwater. This volume opens with Vanilla getting knocked out by some ogre cohorts, bringing with them a shocking twist: Chocolat may disappear forever if she can’t resurface before Vanilla slumbers. When Chocolat doesn’t appear, the beach setting disappears from view, as do the collective memories of Chocolat and Vanilla’s friends. Continue reading

Sugar Sugar Rune, vol. 4

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More Sugar Sugar Rune is always fun! True to its name, it can be saccharine, with some hints of spice here and there.

This volume opens during Walpurgis Night, the night of a grand ball for the magical world. Chocolat and her bodyguards are in attendance, and we later find that Pierre, Vanilla, and the ogres are, as well. Pierre announces his intent to reclaim the magical world, but a mysterious figure casts a spell to neutralize the collective hostility on display. Chocolat is convinced she’s met this woman before, but alas, we don’t get to see much else from here. Continue reading

Sugar Sugar Rune, vol. 3

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Chocolat continues to grow as a character in this volume! I think I’m starting to really like this, as it’s improved a lot over the last two volumes.

Pierre confronts Vanilla towards the beginning of this volume, telling her that she’s an ogre, and that’s why people don’t want her to win the throne. Vanilla, knowing that she recently went to the magical world, demands to read Cinnamon’s diary, as she feels Chocolat’s mother would know the secrets behind her birth. Chocolat doesn’t budge, but she knows for a fact that her mom didn’t mention anything about Vanilla’s lineage. It’s kept sort of ambiguous in the text as to what her background is; there are cuts to Queen Candy saying she will reunite the different factions in the magical world, but it’s not clear if she is an ogre or what. Continue reading

Sugar Sugar Rune, vol. 2

1188254.jpgThis volume was a bit more charming and dynamic than the last one, for sure.

This volume mostly starts off the same as the first. Chocolat still pretty much sucks at collecting hearts and is not wise about spending her money. Things don’t change too much, though Vanilla is starting to get angry with Chocolat.

One thing Chocolat uses her money on is a trinket that lets her read a page of her mother’s diary. Her mother doesn’t share a whole lot, but gives her key advice to “never forget your feelings of appreciation after you’ve taken a person’s heart.” It’s not much, but it’s clear Chocolat may be able to build lasting friendships by allowing herself to be a bit warmer to her classmates. Continue reading

Sugar Sugar Rune, vol. 1

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Anno Moyoco is one of my favorite authors working in comics today, specifically for her josei works like Sakuran, Insufficient Direction, and In Clothes Called Fat. She’s really great at portraying the darkness in the world and in interpersonal relationships. Her characters have always felt real to me.

But my introduction to Anno’s work wasn’t her adult-oriented stories; it was this series right here, Sugar Sugar Rune, a magical girl series written for elementary schoolers. I picked up on this series after reading Shaenon Garrity’s writeup in her Overlooked Manga Festival from the late 2000s. I started reading this series as it came out in English back then, but dropped off after volume 5 came out. I held onto my old volumes and have since acquired the books I was missing, so I thought it might be worth it to revisit the series for the site. Continue reading