With the Fourth of July right around the corner, I decided to keep things light and sparkly here at The Manga Critic by reviewing three humorous shojo titles: The Big Adventures of Majoko (UDON Entertainment), an all-ages title about an inept witch; The Magic Touch (VIZ), a comedy about a group of high school students who aspire to be professional masseuses; and The Manzai Comics (Aurora Publishing), a dramedy about a shy young man who becomes half of an Abbott-and-Costello comedy team.
THE BIG ADVENTURES OF MAJOKO, VOL. 1
BY MACHIKO FUJI AND TOMOMI MIZUNA • UDON ENTERTAINMENT • 200 pp. • RATING: KIDS (7+)
Like Fairy Idol Kanon and Ninja Baseball Kyuma!, The Big Adventures of Majoko uses magic and humor to teach kids the importance of telling the truth, doing their best, and treating each other respectfully. The story focuses on Nana, an ordinary eight-year-old, and Majoko, a young witch who’s still learning the ropes when it comes to flying and casting spells. Thanks to a magic diary, Nana can summon Majoko whenever she wishes. The two embark on a variety of missions, from assisting a mermaid to finding a lost necklace, relying on pluck and smarts when Majoko’s magic fails — a frequent occurence. While a few of the stories are didactic, most employ a light touch, keeping the pious sentiments to a minimum and focusing instead on adventure, as the girls battle one-eyed monsters, pursue a rainbow thief, and journey to the bottom of the sea.