Meteor Prince, Vol. 1

By Meca Tanaka. Released in Japan by Hakusensha, serialized in the magazine LaLa. Released in North America by Viz.

Meca Tanaka was an author I enjoyed back in the old CMX days – I was quite find of Omukae Desu. She has a certain messy style with a lot of words that reminds me a bit of Banri Hidaka, though really many Hakusensha artists have this, as their magazines have a lot more dialogue than the average Shueisha and Shogakukan title. Here we see her writing a short two-volume series about an alien who comes to Earth looking for a soulmate, and the girl with a life of bad luck that he declares is the one.


I was a bit worried at the start, what with the jokes about “shall we mate now?”, but it’s made clear right off the bat that consent is required first. Io, the alien, is not particularly adept at human social conventions, but he’s an alien so gets more of a pass than the usual shoujo boyfriends who are just bad at interacting and boundaries. Once Io realizes what Earth requires, he does his best to try to work within its rules, even if they baffle him. He’s also very cheery and friendly (except for one moment where he gets jealous), which actually works against him at the end, as Hako can’t tell if he’s being sincere about his love, especially when he seems to give it up so easily.

Hako also impressed me. Honestly, with the sort of life she’s led, she should be a lot more broken than she is, and it’s definitely a good thing that she’s been taken in by the occult club. That said, she gets a lot more emotional as the title goes on, and it becomes clear that a lot of her open cheerfulness is a mask. She’s also shown to be somewhat stocky (well, by shoujo manga standards), so makes a nice change from the usual tall thin girls. She’s a nice girl. You want good things to happen to her. Io ends up being a good influence.

As for the rest of the cast, I already commented on Twitter about finding Erina fascinating. Unlike Io, there’s no excuse for her – she’s just constantly smiling with closed eyes, all the time. I think the only time she remotely shows another emotion is when Io pretends to be injured and drives Hako away, and even then it’s less anger and more ‘tsk tsk’. I hope we find out something about her in the 2nd volume. As for the club president and Matchan, they make a nicely goofy beta couple – indeed, the president (is he ever named?) seems to be starring in a completely different manga, possibly Nisekoi. Matchan might feel a bit cliched to Western readers, but the girl who shows embarrassing emotions as anger is a classic Japanese trope, and so I just deal with it.

This is over in the 2nd volume, and honestly it almost felt complete in this first one – you could stop right here and have a satisfying ending. Still, I enjoyed it. It wasn’t deeply meaningful or anything, but was good enough for me to seek out the next in the series.

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