Author: Matsuri Hino
Artist: Matsuri Hino
Genre: Fantasy, Shoujo, Comedy, Romance, School Life, Super-natural
Summary: All high-school freshman Airi Hoshina ever wanted was to someday live in a cozy home with a loving husband, and find joy in the little things in life. As a result, she makes it her daily mission to get to school on time because school legend has it that the longer one’s non-tardy streak is, the better boyfriend one will find. But just when her daily routine is working like clockwork, an occurrence of fairytale proportions threatens to disrupt her grand plan.
On the way to school one morning, Airi drops her mirror—one that had been passed down to her through generations—and suddenly finds herself in a bizarre situation. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect to meet Aram, a little boy from a magical kingdom, to have emerged from the mirror in the short time it took her to track it down! – Shojo Beat
I don’t know how exactly to start with MeruPuri; let’s just say I found it entertaining. It didn’t exactly grip me but it was still a reasonable read. MeruPuri is by the same mangaka of Vampire Knight; an extra-ordinarily popular manga that I have refused to read and haven’t figured out why. So I thought – if I’m going to read Vampire Knight at some point in my life, I should have a taste of Matsuri Hino’s other shorter works and maybe foresee what Vampire Knight might be like. MeruPuri is a combination of fantasy and ‘reality’; there’s magic and castles and Kingdoms, but I don’t find the magic aspect of the story very strong even though it plays a central role. It’s as if everything – the ‘reality’ and the ‘fantasy’ worlds – are all created simply for the stage of a romance story, making it feel a little hollow.
The characters aren’t that deep, so don’t expect any deep background story, but at the same time I couldn’t call them shallow either. There isn’t very much character development; the characters are quite set from the beginning, so I’m not expecting any dramatic changes if there are any in the chapters ahead.
The art is what some might call traditional shoujo – except for the fact that all the guys’ eyes are almost equally as big as the girls’ as opposed to the more traditional shoujo art. One weakness of traditional shoujo art is that character design are often the same and that the only feature left to distinguish between each character is their hair. But there are other physical characteristics I did like which balances everything out like the proportionate body of the characters. A lot of emphasis is put into costume and to the male character’s hair – it’s quite intricate, but I think Matsuri Hino’s art trademark is probably the eyes. They’re like marbles, and you can always pick her work amongst others.
The comedy aspects is fine; you won’t actually find anything that tosses you off the chair. There will probably be quite heroic events in the future, allowing readers to enjoy some fan-service of ‘u-waaa’ romance scenes. I’d recommend it if you just want to make your heart flutter reading a shoujo romance or you maybe you’d just like to kill some time with a just above average manga.
Overall rating & any additional comments: a reasonable 3.4/5.