HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Blade of the Moon Princess" - Volume Two

MANGA REVIEW | "Blade of the Moon Princess" - Volume Two

MANGA REVIEW | "Blade of the Moon Princess" - Volume Two

Not every author can find their niche instantly. Sometimes they have to experience failure before they hit on success. Tatsuya Endo may now have a blockbuster on his hands with Spy × Family, but his writing wasn’t always great. TISTA suffered from having poor characters and bad storytelling, even though it was visually stunning. As for Blade of the Moon Princess, whose second volume recently came out, the main problem can be found in its narrative.

Having Princess Kaguya as a warrior sent to Earth after a coup sounds good on paper. However, it’s in its execution where a bountiful of flaws pop up. For starters, while the characters have some depth to them, they’re not exactly likable. We’re supposed to root for Kaguya and for her to succeed in her plan to return to the moon. So why does it feel like a chore to side with her?

It’s not like the villains offer anything enticing either. The Ume assassins chasing Kaguya and cadet Mikuni show a threatening aura, but they have “monster of the week” vibes rather than big baddie ones. They show plenty of wickedness at the base, where they hold captive innocent women and children who are planned to be executed. But as a danger, their mentality feels more like western Saturday morning cartoon villainy rather than something you’d read in a shonen manga.

As such, Blade of the Moon Princess suffers from having no strong heroes and dull villains. Princess Kaguya may have a unique personality, but she isn’t the least bit likable. In fact, she’s the kind of brat that you kind of wish to see fall face first into the ground before completing some heroic deed. And for her to be the main protagonist of this series makes it a hard manga to swallow.

Even when she goes into hero mode via a heartfelt speech, it doesn’t help that Kaguya reverts back to her unlikable ways. What her character lacks is balance, one that allows her to be both funny and serious in a believable sense. (Think like Ryo Saeba in City Hunter, who can easily go from pervert to hero with a snap of one’s fingers, and do so with a proper balance of the two sides.) Alas, Kaguya here leans too much on her dumb side, to the point where any moment of serious and sincerity from her would cause more eye-rolls than wide-eyes.

Volume Two of Blade of the Moon Princess is disappointing, with its good premise lacking the right story beats to make it a fun read. As such, Tatsuya Endo’s second manga feels more like a pain to soldier through. I’m glad he found success with Spy × Family, as I’m certain that if he had struck out a third time, Endo’s editor would’ve dropped him like a sack of potatoes. Thankfully, that isn’t the case, and Blade of the Moon Princess is merely another example of a writer whose voice has yet to be properly tuned before the big show can commence.


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)