Arina Tanemura began her manga career in 1996 when her short stories debuted in Ribon Original magazine. She gained fame with the 1997 publication of I*O*N, and ever since her debut Tanemura has been a major force in shojo manga with popular series Phantom Thief Jeanne, Time Stranger Kyoko, Full Moon, The Gentlemen's Alliance and Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura. Both Phantom Thief Jeanne and Full Moon have been adapted into animated TV series.
As collateral for her family's business debt, Haine has been taken in by the Otomiyas and sent to a fancy rich kids' school where she's at the bottom of the ladder. Still, she's outrageously cheery and somewhat simpleminded. She's also in love with the new student council president and school leader, but their differences in status mean she has to work hard to reach his class (in more than one sense). It's an old-fashioned premise--child swaps as business deals--that might fit in better in an old superhero title than in a modern shojo title. Haine's crush mostly ignores her, but why shouldn't he? She doesn't have much to recommend her, just unthinking determination. Tanemura's busy pages leave little white space, and the characters, drawn in stereotypical cute style, can be difficult to tell apart. All this overheated broad comedy--at one point, student outcasts let loose snakes on the council members--would be more palatable if the story didn't pretend to be set in a realistic present. Fans of Tanemura's previous hits, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne and Full Moon, will doubtless find more to enjoy in this energetic but broadly comic story. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.