Magic Knight Rayearth

Magic Knight Rayearth is a fantasy adventure story with a dull, generic, premise, competently produced by the popular manga studio, Clamp.

Three japanese schoolgirls, Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu, are magically transported to the magical kingdom of Cephiro, summoned by a captured princess to save her troubled land. In Cephiro, they’ll become the Magic Knights, the destined saviors of the kingdom. There’s an evil warlord, tons of minions, searches for magical treasure, powerups to be obtained, etc etc. Many elements are generic enough that the characters from our world refer to them from the point of reference of a video game.

The story IS cute, and may appeal particularly to children, who won’t recognize the cliche aspects of the storytelling, and would tend to be more accepting of the “find the powerup, fight the evil minion” repetitive nature of the plot.

The best thing about this book is the bonding between the three girls, initially strangers, who soon start calling themselves sisters. The way they learn magic and bond to benevolent spirits is tied into a self discovery theme, which is quite nice. The book does have its charms, when it isn’t being weighed down by dumb fight scenes.

Clamp books have always had great art, and Magic Knight Rayearth is no exception. The art style is a big part of the charm of the book.

I’m of two minds with this book, it’s good when its cute, its bad when its plotty.

Publisher: Tokyopop
Authors: Clamp
Volumes Reviewed: 2 1/2