HARIDAMA: MAGIC CRAM SCHOOL (Haridama Taimajuku, “Haridama: Magic Cram School”) (???????) • Atsushi Suzumi • Del Rey (2008) • Kodansha (Shônen Sirius, 2005) • 1 volume • Shônen Fantasy • 13+ (mild violence)
Kokuyo and Harika are a boy and girl pair of “obsidians,” apprentice half-magicians who must use swords and magic stones in order to work their magic. Both of them want to be the best, and they bicker and duel in their homeschool-like two-student classroom (their class is probably small so there’s less characters to draw), only to discover that they have untapped powers which only come out when they work together. This boring, shallow school story draws from Naruto and Harry Potter (in Japan, it’s called Haripota for short), wasting tons of pages explaining the heroes’ powers (basically just the power to blow stuff up) before ending abruptly after a very brief storyline about a school test. Suzumi (Venus Versus Virus) draws cute faces but fails on the scenery and action scenes.
Today’s winner is Chris K. of Colorado. Congrats, Chris! Hope you like the manga I’ll be sending you!