Manga Review – Mistress Fortune

Mistress Fortune

Mistress Fortune
絶対覚醒天使ミストレス☆フォーチュン (Zettai Kakusei Tenshi Mistress ☆ Fortune)
TANEMURA Arina
Shoujo – Comedy, magical girl, romance
1 Volume (complete)
Viz Media

Summary:

Kisaki and Giniro make up the team of psychics known as Mistress Fortune. Their mission? To battle aliens! Kisaki is in love with the more experienced Giniro, but their secret organization doesn’t even allow agents to exchange personal information. Plus he only seems interested in her chest! Will Kisaki’s feelings ever reach Giniro?

Review:

Mistress Fortune is pretty much the manga version of a good chick flick.

Most manga are created in the hopes the author will be allowed to keep it going for the long haul. Occasionally, however, some authors like to create a short series. They don’t have to worry about rankings, they can do more of what they want, and it’s often just more fun. Mistress Fortune was serialized between two of Tanemura’s major series (The Gentlemen’s Alliance + and Sakura Hime), and while it has all the hallmarks of a Tanemura series, the whole volume is just lighter in both length and tone than her usual works.

Mistress Fortune is pretty generic, but it’s a testament to Tanemura’s skill that she still manages to put together an entertaining read. Fourteen-year-olds Kisaki and Giniro make up the magical girl-boy team of Mistress Fortune, protecting the earth from alien invaders know as ebe. But while Giniro is a skilled psychic, Kisaki has to rely on Hero Drinks special drinks to boost her power. She certainly ends up chugging quite a few of those elixirs due to Giniro’s comments about her large breasts. But she loves him anyway, and she wishes they could hang out (and eventually date) as Kisaki and Giniro rather than Fortune Tiara and Fortune Quartz.

Mistress Fortune Sample 1

The volume is made up of three main chapters and two bonus stories. The main storyline progresses in a familiar fashion, introducing Kisaki’s world before throwing a more significant crisis to her love and life before resolving it. There’s no significant backstory, so we never learn how Kisaki joined PSI or why the aliens started coming down to Earth. We don’t even learn how the team Mistress Fortune came to be. Quite frankly, in this case, these details not important; this is Kisaki’s love story, not an epic conflict to save the galaxy. But the story structure is very straightforward, to the point you could break this down into the typical dramatic structure pyramid with ease. This doesn’t make the story cliché, just familiar. Tanemura always knew this was going to be a short series, and it’s much more planned out than her early cancelled series Time Stranger Kyoko.

The tone of Mistress Fortune is very cheerful, as even the “evil” aliens look like plushies you’d find in a crane game. The few dramatic moments don’t drag and are buttressed by  the comedy and romance. The humor is played up even more in the comedic bonus chapters: one is about an alien wanting to be a sophisticated, trendy woman (?), and the other is about discovering whether Kisaki and Giniro’s boss is really a woman. Quite frankly, these were funnier than the jokes about Giniro lamenting Kisaki’s bra size going down because of a diet. American readers will also find themselves enjoying a rather unusual part of this manga: the editor’s notes! You may also discover what a certain manga editor really does for a living…

Mistress Fortune Sample 2

Mistress Fortune feels much like a manga one-shot spread out across three chapters. The romance is probably the aspect that fits the description the best. Kisaki is already in love with Giniro, Giniro already knows Kisaki (and that she is someone who is his type), and the cast is kept small to prevent love triangles. Like most of Tanemura’s couples, the girl is kind and cheerful while the guy is more mischievous. The only other two main characters are Mistress Fortune’s boss and the series mascot, both who get their moments to shine after the main story is concluded. I liked the characters, and I would not have mind spending a few more volumes with them. Since the problem of the ebe invasion isn’t solved, Tanemura has plenty of room if she wants to revisit Mistress Fortune.

Tanemura has one of the most widely recognized art styles in shoujo manga. I wouldn’t say she has the biggest range (or even a wide range) in designing characters, but she draws them beautifully. The manga opens with a gorgeous pull-out featuring Mistress Fortune on one side and Kisaki/Fortune Tiara on the other. The pink and silver pair just shine against the bright blue background. The smaller cast and short length of the series means this manga isn’t as busy as many of her other works, but her heavy use of greyscales and screentones continues. Like many fighting magical girl series, Kisaki and Fortune Tiara look slightly different, but the psychic attacks for both Tiara and Quartz are the same. Dramatic moments are Tanemura’s forte, and this is still true even in the lighter Mistress Fortune. She also shows off her chibi art; who doesn’t want to see a puffball in a hardhat and a maid outfit? This series may be one of her shortest, but Tanemura still looks as good as her longer works.

Translation:

No honorifics outside of -tan are used. Kisaki’s E-cups are changed to DD cups, which most sites would say is for the UK (D-cups in American sizing). Translator’s notes are included, mostly to explain Tanemura’s entertainment preferences. In addition, editor’s notes are added.

Final Comments:

Mistress Fortune is pure innocent fun. Well, okay, “innocent” seems strange considering the male lead’s obsession, but this is still a good if you want to take a break from long epics. It would also make a good gift for either an established or new shoujo manga fan, as it’s something done by a popular author, inexpensive, has a good blend of genres, and is pretty to look at. Just be aware of Giniro’s love for boobs if you’re buying this for a younger reader.

Viz Media has released most of Tanemura’s works.

Reader Rating


5/5 (1)

3 Comments

  1. RisefromAshes

    I remember reading this series so quickly back in the day (I was on a serious Arina Tanemura kick then). It’s nice to know other people enjoyed this short story the way I did; boob jokes aside lol.

    Reply
  2. LitaKino

    KRYSTAL I AM HERE for once to read one of your awesome manga reviews ! This is a arina tanemura title I have not heard of or read. I find her female character designers always have a distinguishing similarity to them but that’s okay when she has some of the prettiest shoujo artwork I’ve still ever seen. I’ve loved her for years and I’m determined to read all her works !!

    Reply
  3. dreager1

    It’s definitely been a really long time since I read this title, but I do remember liking it at the time. The art is definitely really solid as always and while the chest jokes did certainly get old fast (Main guy was unredeemable for me at that point) the overall story was pretty fun.

    Reply

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