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Sugar Princess: Skating To Win, Vol. 1 Paperback – August 5, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Sugar Princess Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nakajo (Hana-Kimi) creates another soft sports manga, this time about figure skating. Maya Kurinoki takes up skating at her local rink and is scouted by an ice-skating coach. When the rink owner plans to shut it down, Maya agrees to pair with professional figure skater Shun Kano in a contest to keep the rink open. Rated all ages, Sugar Princess is true 'tween reading. Young readers will appreciate 14-year-old Maya (who looks and acts more like a naïve 10 or 12 year old) and her altruistic determination. The story itself is cute, peppered with gorgeous young men, and Nakajo does her figure-skating research. But fans of the sport may find that the illustration focuses too lightly on the skating and too heavily on the character dramatization. One of the strengths of all-star sports manga like Slam Dunk or of dance manga like Swan are the action sequences. Nakajo tries, but so far, her series shows little of the balletic movement that lovers of figure skating adore. The pacing may pick up in the next volumes, the skating as well, but given Nakajo's record with Hana-Kimi and her concentration on boy-girl dynamics, this manga may develop as a sugar-sweet story of romance off the ice. (Aug.)
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About the Author

Hisaya Nakajo's manga series Hanazakari no Kimitachi he (For You in Full Blossom, casually known as Hana-Kimi) has been a hit since it first appeared in 1997 in the shojo manga magazine Hana to Yume (Flowers and Dreams). In Japan, a Hana-Kimi art book and several "drama CDs" have been released. Her other manga series include Missing Piece (two volumes) and Yumemiru Happa (The Dreaming Leaf, one volume).
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Product Details

  • Series: Sugar Princess: Skating To Win (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421519305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421519302
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,764,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Leslie C. Hull on August 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Sugar Princess is a new manga by Nakajo Hisaya who created the Hana Kimi series. The basic premise is that Maya Kurinoki is a third year Junior High School girl who is spotted doing a double axel by pairs skating coach Eishi Todo while she is trying to teach her younger brother to skate at the local ice skating rink. The coach gives her his business card because he sees her potential for becoming a pairs skater with one of his skaters Shun Kano who had previously won competitions with his sister/partner before she died. Shun now only wants to skate in men's singles. Because Maya is a novice, Eishi wants Shun to coach her so that she can reach his level of skating. His ulterior motive is to get Shun to come back to pairs skating as Maya's partner. Shun resists and it is Maya's job to convince him to help her.

Most of this first volume starts out a little slowly as it inroduces the characters and sets up the plotline. Because I liked Hana Kimi so well, I am reserving judgment on whether I like the series until I have read Volume 2. Many manga series start out slowly in the first volume. So far I do not like this series as well as Hana Kimi. In a sidebar the author says she has always been fascinated with ice skating and has wanted to do a skating manga so perhaps as Maya and Shun begin to compete the story will get better.
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Format: Paperback
Most people above age 12 will probably be put off to "Sugar Princess" because of its title, but I decided to give it a look after reading the preview in "Shojo Beat" magazine. And it's really not sickeningly sweet like you might think.

I liked the characters well enough. I thought Maya was cute and spunky, and she plays well off the disgruntled Shun. It's not the best romance ever, but it was sweet enough to keep me interested. Better than a lot I've read, actually. The art was pretty standard, but it gets the job done. I liked the plot. Figure skating is a pretty unusual background in manga (at least, it is in the US), and the story is well paced. It's pretty original, despite a few predictable moments.

"Sugar Princess" is a pretty fun little manga. It's enjoyable for all ages, and it's a good length. Good if you're looking for a shorter shojo series.
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Format: Paperback
Maya Kurinoki had never skated before someone at the rice shop gave her a free pass to the local ice rink, but it turns out that she's a natural at the most difficult moves. By happy coincidence, a coach from the local skating club is on hand when she tries a double axel turn, and he recognizes her innate talent and invites her to join his club.

On her first day, Maya spots a beautiful young man skating alone. To her surprise, Coach Todo calls him over and tells them both that he wants them to skate together as a pair. The boy, Shun Kano, is decidedly unfriendly toward Maya, dismissing her as a novice and refusing to have anything to do with her. Like the good shoujo heroine that she is, though, Maya decides the best way to win Shun over is to practice hard and become a good skater, and since this is a shoujo manga, that effort eventually pays off. But although Shun agrees to coach her, he remains cold and standoffish.

This could only be the result of a secret sorrow, and sure enough, Maya eventually learns that Shun used to skate with his sister, Aya, until she died two years ago. Now that she is gone, Shun only wants to skate alone. Will Maya be able to win him over? That question goes unanswered for now, but as this is only a two-volume series, the suspense won't go on too much longer. Meanwhile, another girl shows up to compete for Shun's affections. The final plot twist, introduced close to the end of this volume, is a tried-and-true one: The owner of the rink announces that he is closing it down because it's not making enough money. But there's a big skating competition coming up, and Coach Todo and his skaters persuade the owner to make a deal--if they win the contest, the rink stays open.
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