Title: Panic X Panic Vol 1
Author: Mika Kawamura
Publisher: Del Rey
May Contain Spoilers
Mitsuki and Kakeru are childhood friends—and rivals! When Mitsuki is attacked by a demon, she and Kakeru discover that they have magical powers. An ancient scroll decrees that they must work together to save the world from a demon invasion. And so begins a demon-filled adventure. . . .
I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I usually cringe when reading magical girl series with middle school aged heroines; they just skew too young for me and I have a hard time working up any enthusiasm for either the flighty storylines or the overly energetic heroines. Panic X Panic started with the usual bickering between the leads, childhood rivals whose families operate temples that are located across the street from each other. The plot settled down into a monster of week magical adventure, with Mitsuki and Kakeru forced to team up to repair the broken seal that prevented demons from creating havoc in their neck of the woods.
The demon hunting usually revolves around spirits that have invaded their school and are creating mischief for our leads. They set aside their rivalry only long enough to banish the spirits, and then go right back to fighting with each other. It doesn’t help that all of the girls in their class think that Kakeru is the greatest thing next to text messaging, and the boys all think that Mitsuki is cute, so their circle of friends are always talking about the other. Since both Mitsuki and Kakeru profess to dislike the other, it’s not their favorite topic, and it only serves to irritate them even more when they are forced to interact with each other.
There is nothing original about the plot or the troubles that Mitsuki and Kakeru find themselves in, but the art, despite some very busy backgrounds, is engaging and full of energy. I read the book in one sitting and never got bored, and even found myself warming up to the characters, including some of the demons. It’s brain candy all the way, and what it lacks in originality, it makes up for with its fast-pacing and unbridled sense of enthusiasm.
Review copy provided by Del Rey