Magic Knight Rayearth, Part One: Book One | Review
Magic Knight Rayearth, Part One: Book One
Kodansha, first released 1/1/1999
Re-issued in paperback 12/12/23
Age rating:Teen 13+
If you have been an otaku as long as I have, you find yourself reminiscing on that one story that has stuck with you no matter what. For me, it was Magic Knight Rayearth, created by the all-women manga team CLAMP.
When I heard it was being re-issued by Kodansha, to say I was excited would be an understatement. If you asked me how many times I listened to and sang the theme song, “Yuzurenai Negai,” my answer would be… yes.
So what’s so special about Magic Knight Rayearth? First, it’s not your typical magical girl story. It’s a magical girl story mixed with isekai with a dash of mecha. Second, the art within this manga series is beautifully done, and a fan would tell just by its style that its classic CLAMP. Third, it’s a story that is action-packed with a devastating twist that will grip readers.
Magic Knight Rayearth centers on three students from different backgrounds: Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu. When they meet on a school trip to Tokyo Tower, the girls are transported without warning to a parallel world called Cefiro where they are recruited by a mysterious captured princess to save this world. In addition, the girls learn they are to become Celfiro’s legendary Magic Knights and must unlock the power of the Rune Gods to complete their mission. With the help of a cast of motley characters (and CLAMP’s cute mascot, Mokona), Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu face daunting challenges to save the princess.
But everything in Celfiro is not what it seems, and the story takes a shocking turn that no one (including myself) saw coming.
While I’ll admit that volume one does drag a bit, the story improves as it goes on and the twist will be worth it. Magic Knight Rayearth is perfect for all readers who love fantasy, action, and intrigue. The bits of comedy are reminiscent of 90s anime, with cute chibi versions of the characters expressing emotions with hilarious exaggeration. The action and magic is illustrated beautifully as CLAMP always does. Audiences today should not sleep on this series. It’s truly something to behold, and volume two is set to be released in February 2024. I look forward to seeing everything play out once again.
About Renee Scott
Renee Scott is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku and gamer. She is a lifelong fan of comics, anime, and manga. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.
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