This one is for the fans of the original Princess Ai concept created by musician Courtney Love and DJ Milky. Rumorsis a compilation of short stories by various manga-inspired creators-many of whom are winners in the various Tokyopop Rising Stars of Manga competitions. The book is double formatted with some stories reading from left-to-right, others right-to-left. Princess Ai's original artist, Misaho Kujiradou, has a chapter as does Korean manhwa creator Mi-Kyung Kim (11th Cat). Other featured creators include T Campbell, Irene Flores, Erica Reis and Pauro Izaki who gives a boys' love narrative. For the most part, Rumorsis a vehicle to exhibit Tokyopop's Rising Stars of Manga-and keep Princess Ai on the shelves. (Fans, take note: the clothes/outfits are not as spectacular as in the original.) The stories in Rumorsrequire familiarity with the story line and characters. Most focus on the romantic aspects of the original Princess Ai story and capitalize on the strip-club setting, where Ai got her first gig. Overall, contributors try to expand and develop supporting characters in Ai's world, but the short, 20-page length impairs any substantial narrative. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr 7 Up
"Princess Ai," a popular three-volume series created by Courtney Love and D. J. Milky (Tokyopop), has been retold and embellished in these 12 short stories, 10 of which are told OEL left to right, and 2 in traditional manga style. Princess Ai has returned to Ai-land, but those she left behind-the ex-boss, jealous coworker, tabloid reporter, roommate, assistant, friends, and enemies-all have their stories to tell of her time on Earth. One tale by original artist and cowriter Misaho Kujiradou gives a brief epilogue for fans. The other installments feature different writers and illustrators who introduce their own visions of Princess Ai's background and appearance. Ranging from silly to superhero and sweet to slapstick (sometimes in the same chapter), these stories don't take themselves or the established mythology seriously. While each chapter varies widely in style, the whole is of consistently high quality in both storytelling and artwork. Humor, combined with chapter introductions, makes this volume fun for newcomers, but the book will be best appreciated in tandem with the original. With more books based on Princess Ai on their way, this is a good purchase for libraries that own the original series and want to maintain readers' interest.-Cara von Wrangel Kinsey, New York Public Library
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