Once upon a time, the wicked witches and wizards from the far far away land have found their way to and lived in those famous children’s fairy tales happily ever after…. until they discovered the words, “shoujo manga”.
Alas! The witches and wizards are besotted… and even the fairies have found their new playgrounds in shoujo manga outside Shakespheare’s Midsummer Night’s Dreams! They are known to human as “magical creatures”.
Rumours have it that the presence of these lovely magical creature can sometimes be seen in what we call “fantasy adventure shoujo manga” – see examples below. They are often found being associated with royal families (in particular princes and princesses), aristocrats or knights, and would exist either in the form of foes and villains or companions providing unconditional love, friendship and (magical) support.
Whilst these creatures could still be found in some of the vintage manga, it is also widely believed that fairies (in particular the good-natured ones) are now close to extinction due to the continuous evolution of shoujo manga…… (sob~)
Ribbon no Kishi by TEZUKA Osamu (リボンの騎士 by 手冢治虫)
The unforgettable Choppy, the clumpsy angel-in-training out to earn his wings, accidentally gave the new born Princess Sapphire a blue heart of a boy as well as a pink heart of a girl! After becoming a pint-sized sidekick, Choppy and the cross-gender Sapphire experience a variety of fairy tale and political adventures, including encounters with ice witches and anti-Royal revolutionaries… Ribbon no Kishi guarantees to be a true classic by the master of shoujo managa!
Fushigi no Kuni no Senichiya by SONE Masako (不思議の国の千一夜 by 曽祢まさこ)
Similar to the parody animation, Shrek, this manga is a slapstick/ parody comedy loosely based on One Thousand and One nights and other children’s fantasies about a princess, Seblan, who was brought up as a prince to save her life… and who later turns into a real prince and lives with his wife happily ever after. Together with the help of his sometimes-sarcastic magical horse, Hendek, Seblan ventured out into the blizzard world full of fairies, dragons, immortals.. etc. The story is exactly what it’s said in the tin – so “fushigi”, so incredible… yet so much fun!
Viehmannin wa Utau/ Tajjii Majjii by YAMAGUCHI Miyuki (フィーメンニンは謳う/ タッジー・マッジー by 山口美由紀)
In Viehmannin wa Utau, Rina is a competitive and hard working student who even sulks for losing her first place in school ranking. But since she met Milch, a mysterious but cute and adorable fairy girl and Sylvie, a Fairyland knight who came to rescue Milch, Rina soon found herself entering a bewilding world of fairies as well as many challenges ahead other than her usual school work and ranking!
Sylvie joins us again in the sequel, Tajjii Majjii. This time, he comes to find the princess fairy who has lost her body in the human world! Charlotte just moved into the new town, with a couple secrets about herself being hidden for as long as she could remember. One of them was her being a witch… and she disliked being associated with witchery in anyway. When she found out her new accommodation was a run-down house that used to be owned by a popular witch in town many years ago, Charlotte was about to make a move again! But as she crossed path with Sylvie and the beautiful (but very naughty) fairy princess, circumstances changed….
Both of these “fairy tales” by YAMAGUCHI Miyuki are so endearing and heatwarming that one would wish to read them feet up and with a warm cup of tea/ coffee/ chocolate in hand! : )
NB. I have also included the series as part of my favourite shoujo couple installment!
Hanakanmuri no Ryuu no Kuni by NAKAYAMA Seika (花冠の竜の国 by 中山星香)
The 17 years old Liz* was somehow magically pulled into the fairy world of a story book left by her grandfather. The Kingdom of Flower Crown Dragon is divided into few cities, one of them the City of Flower where Liz met the beautiful blue-eye Prince Esther with glitzing silver hair. They fell in love at first sight, albeit the stone-faced Esther would occassionally tease or make sarcarstic remarks on her clumsiness which drove her insane. Esther decided to stay in the fairy kingdom for the sake of love whilst creating many comedies as she was struggling to adapt a new culture, as well as “fighting” against her love rivalries! But as the prince is always tied-up with his royal duties, Liz was often being left alone in their castle; where she felt increasingly her loneliness and insecurity of being an “alien” wife of a prince…..
*NB. The heroine’s name in Japanese is actually リゾレット, i.e. Rizoretto in translation which sounds a bit like “risotto” and I refuse to call her that… so Liz is the best I could come up with for now! Any other suggestion anyone?
Alfheim no Kishi by NAKAYAMA Seika (妖精国の騎士 by 中山星香)
Princess Rosely’s fate was sealed when she first picked up a sword trying to kill an evil wizard. Little did she know the legendary Lucilys, Sword of Light, had chosen her to be its heiress. That also meant her peaceful life in the castle of Altodias would no longer be the same. Soon, the young princess encounters the pain of losing all the people that she loved, and being separated from her twin brother Rolant, the heir of Silvan, the Sword of the Moon. Rosely would have been even dead floating in a cold river if she had not been saved by a handsome green-eyed king of the Alf. Growing up as his foster daughter in Alfheim, Rosely learns magic and martial arts from the Alf, only waiting for the day she can avenge for her lost country (from Bakaupdates)…. and this marks only the beginning of an epic series of 54 volumes (or 27 volumes bankobun, in addition to other sequels and spin-off) since later in the series, Princess Rosely will be joined by her brother as well as the heir of the Sword of Sun in their journey….
Meanwhile, as the Grand Prince of the Underworld lost his political battle to his father, he was forced to reincarnate as a human prince of the country which destoryed Altodias. lt is only a matter of time before the dark prince will regain his power by accessing the power of Lucilys, the Sword of Light…….. Eventually, Rosely becomes the key to the battles of humankind and the underworld.
(NB. The series is so epic that I have decided to open a new post for it here. 🙂
Crystal Dragon by ASHIBE Yuuho (クリスタル・ドラゴン by あしべゆうほ)
Arianrhod is a young girl from an island called Erin. She is different from all the other kids her age. All the others in the tribe have blond hair while Arian is the only one with black hair and because of this she was bullied many times. One day a traveler in silver clothing came to Erin and “named” Arian. To be named is very important because it reveals one’s true self. After that the Master Drisu takes Arian in as his disciple because she was “named” by the stranger. Balor is the evil leader of Death Valley and one night he murdered all the people in Arian’s tribe, and she swears to get vengeance on Balor.(From Esthétique)
Introducing the characters and storyplots based on Celtic and Nordic folk tales as well as the history of Roman Empire, Crystal Dragon is a fast-paced fantasy manga on adventures and friendship. More on Crystal Dragon here.
Himegimi no Jouken by SAKUNO Yasuko (姫君の条件 by 朔野安子)
In a magical kingdom of far far away lives Princess Darian, who is next in line to the throne. With the help and advice of her flirtatious brother, the tomboyish Darian continues to pursue her love interest in Keel, her stubbon and persistent bodyguard. Meanwhile, in following the tradition, Darian is determined to acquire powerful spirits, including the almighty spirit of darkness, as her helper and guardian.
However, to become a suitable helper, spirits could not be forced but only to be acquired willingly. Moreover, once acquired, the helper spirit would no longer be physically sensed by the owner. Albeit Darian finally acquired a helper spirit of a dandelion, she was dismayed to find out it was actually her close friend in human form.
Whilst Darian begins to reflect her responsibility as the new ruler, as well as the feelings between Keel and herself become much stronger, it is unbeknownst to her that Keel was in fact the spirit of darkness…..
Haruka Tooki Kuni no Monogatari by MIDORI Yukako (はるか遠き国の物語 by 碧ゆかこ)*
Losely based on One Thousand and One Night, this is about the adventurous Princess Arya and the exciting journeys with her companions, i.e. her ever so-loyal-but-nagging servant, the coward Genie, a leopard-turned-bishonen, and none the least her brave handsome fiance prince!
PS. Whenever I see the title or read this manga, the song of “A Whole New World” just automatically sings in my head!!!!
I have not read it yet but if I did, i would definitely have written more on Hakushaku to Yousei (伯爵と妖精) by TANI Mizue/ Ayuko here: The story is set in 19th century England and centers on a “fairy doctor” named Lydia. Her life takes a 180-degree turn when she meets a legendary blue knight count named Edgar and his crew. He hires her as an adviser during his quest to obtain a treasured sword that was supposed to be handed down to him by his family. (From Bakaupdates)