Princess Ai

Review covers the full series

Um, I'm pretty sure that Princess Ai is a Manga aimed at girls.

What do girls like reading about? If stereotypes are anything to go by, then they like princesses, pop-stars and romance stories. Now, I've no idea if that's actually true, and I'm not going to risk some odd looks and possibly some unwelcome police attention by going up to little girls I meet in the street in order to ask them what they'd like.

But Princesses Ai stars a princess who is also a pop-star and who also has a couple of love interests, so I think the authors of Princess Ai must have reached the same conclusion as me and have decided that they'd roll with some safe material for their intended audience.

The titular character, Ai, is a Princess from a fantasy Kingdom. Chased by demons and suffering from amnesia she has come to Earth, and must recover her memories, discover who she is and work out what she is doing before she can return home.

Ai's choice of clothes don't leave much to the imagination, which I think was the author's attempt to make sure that the male demographic is not missed. But I'm pretty sure that Princess Ai is aimed mostly at women because the majority of the fight scenes are resolved by the combatants talking to each other and ultimately working out their differences through conversation.

Thankfully, no matter whether you are male or female, you'll find that the authors have come up with some enjoyable characters an interesting plot. Ai stays pretty much the main focus through the series, and as such getting her character right was pretty much crucial to keeping the series interesting. The authors have decided to make her personality quite flexible; she's sweet and kind when needed for plot reasons, but emotional and spiteful when needed for a gag. I found that this works very well, as it means that Ai never becomes boring, even though the story almost always focuses on her.

Princess Ai isn't quite the most epic manga I've ever read, however I found it really difficult to read this manga and not like it. While it contains some quite serious plotlines, the series is quite light hearted in nature. It doesn't actually aim solely for comedy, but the writers pack a lot of humour into the story regardless. Overall, once you've started it's difficult to stop reading the thing until you've reached the end.

Deep down inside, I have a sort of mental tick-list of things that tick me off about a comic and Princess Ai didn't trigger any of them. I'm looking at it and I'm trying to think of a complaint I have, or an area where it needs improvement, and I'm failing to find one. That's why I feel justified in giving the series my top score.