By Yukiru Sugisaki (TokyoPop)
The premise of RizelMine will be familiar territory to long-time manga fans, featuring as it does a hapless high-school boy/all-around geek (this one is 15-year-old Iwaki Tomonori) and a beautiful, super-powerful girl who inexplicably falls hopelessly in love with him, leading to the traditional slap-stick chaos and fearsome personal embarrassment all around.
Rizel is – or appears to be – a cute twelve year old girl, which would be annoying enough to a young man preparing to declare his undying love for his high school teacher. But his protestations are not only largely ignored, but they seem to inevitably lead to humiliation and quite a lot of bruising.
Tomonori adores older women, and cannot understand why this girl bursts into his bedroom brandishing a marriage certificate and telling him that they are now man and wife. He certainly can’t imagine why his parents are going along with this nonsense, nor why Rizel’s three incredibly scary “guardians” have moved in with them.
It soon transpires that Rizel is an artificial life-form needing to experience human love to further evolve. Furthermore, the government are prepared to go to any lengths to maximise their asset, and it doesn’t care how embarrassing or inconvenient it might be for some of its citizens. Enduring the approbation of his school-mates, the machinations of the world’s richest boy – who wants to marry Rizel himself – and the truly catastrophic repercussions of annoying his child-bride (something Tomonori does with astounding regularity) our hero soldiers on, determined to regain his pride, social standing and equilibrium. If only Rizel wasn’t so darned nice…
Although perhaps a slightly disturbing premise to contemporary western eyes (I don’t even know if school-children can marry in Japan!) this is a fairly standard manga comedy-fantasy that will delight aficionados of the genre but probably baffle the casual reader.
© 2002 Yukiru Sugisaki /KADOKAWA SHOTEN. All Rights Reserved.
English text © 2005 TOKYOPOP Inc.