Title: Kilala Princess volume 1
Art: Nao Kodaka
Story: Rika Tanaka
Growing up, I remember my mother bought a pair of “Disney Princesses” dresses for my sister from the Disney Store to wear on Sundays and/or other “special” occasions. There’s still a picture of her as “Snow White” hanging in the living room. While I was browsing the shelfs at the local library a week ago I came across this graphic novel, Kilala Princess, a story much like Kingdom Hearts where random anime looking characters go on an adventure and bump into several Disney characters along the way.
Kilala, just like my sister (who vehemently rejected this comic when I handed it to her), grew up watching and admiring all the Disney Princesses. Her cute and adorable best friend Erica is in the running to win the school’s prized Princess Contest whose winner gets to wear the beloved tiara on display. Yes, Kilala wants the tiara but she is not jealous, she only worries that her best friend will not have the time for her anymore. What follows is a very romantic looking glare between the two but hold up! this is a Disney comic! can’t have any lesbian characters!
Kilala returns home only to find a mythical looking boy lying on her front lawn. He wakes up in her bed only to find her wearing the mystical looking tiara he brought with him! The boy, Rei, and his friend Valdou has come to find the 7th princess, the true owner of the tiara who can save their world from destruction! Kilala just knows that they’re talking about Erica and so they run to her school to the Princess Contest in the auditorium. Just as Kilala expected, her best friend won but they can’t find her. She hears a scream and runs to the back of the school only to find men in black dragging Erica into a car. Apparently, Kilala isn’t the only one to suspect Erica a princess!
They follow the car into the forest where they encounter a gate that Kilala has seen before. She places the tiara on her head and it opens for her. What’s the first thing that she sees? The 1st Disney Princess, Snow White! Although Kilala and company have been transformed into dwarves, she is thrilled to meet her idol. Not wanting to waste anytime, Rei and Kilala remember their mission and decide the “magic mirror” in the Snow White castle will tell them where to find Erica. Will the mirror tell them where the fairest of all was taken or will they too be captured?
Unlike the movies that inspired this story, Kilala Princess is no masterpiece. However it does have that Disney charm not to mention Disney characters themselves. It succeeds where other Disney manga like Kingdom Hearts fails. The shoujo style characters give an emotional depth to the characters that you wouldn’t expect. Considering the title of this series, I think it’s safe to say that Kilala is the true 7th Princess our journeyers are searching for but you never know. Maybe just like my sister, Kilala is pretending to be the princesses that she admires. In either cases, Kilala isn’t in this to find the princess of the magical kingdom, she just wants to see her friend safe and at home.
Read a preview here.