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Momogumi Plus Senki: Volume 1    by Eri Sakondo order for
Momogumi Plus Senki
by Eri Sakondo
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

I love stories that have a basis in fairytales, and they seem plentiful now in Western literature. This trend seems to also be taking off in Japan as Momogumi Plus Senki is the second manga I have read this year based on the Momotaro story of Japanese folklore. Eri Sakondo's take on this tale is fun and fresh, making for a highly enjoyable read.

Yuuki Momozono has had a rough sixteen years. It seems he has Disaster Attracting Disorder and everyone he comes in contact with winds up in its path. Preceding each event, a weird tattoo forms on his hand that looks like a heart but, as he soon learns, is actually a peach. When Yuuki starts high school, he is immediately befriended by three other freshman (Yukishiro, Masahiko, and Sawa), who explain that he is the reincarnation of Momotaro, the folk hero born from a peach, and that they are his faithful protectors, the pheasant, dog, and monkey. It seems that all who attend Aitan Gakun are reincarnations of famous legend and heroes or demons. Momotaro was cursed by these demons and it is up to Yuuki to find them and meet their demands to reverse the curse before his eighteenth birthday.

Momogumi Plus Senki is everything that a good high school fantasy manga should be. The characters are fully-formed, fun, and distinguishable. The pacing is perfect. The story is easy to follow, even for those of us who did not grow up with Japanese folklore. And the artwork complements and enhances the story perfectly. Eri Sando has a hit with Momogumi Plus Senki. I now am eagerly awaiting Yuuki's further adventures - as he attempts to break his curse - in this highly enjoyable series.

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