Sunday, September 27, 2020

Nerdbot Manga Review: Disney’s ‘Miriya and Marie’ by Maya

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Loryn Stonehttp://www.nerdbot.com
Loryn Stone has dedicated her life to the written Word of the Nerd. Her writing has also been published on other pop culture websites such as Cracked, LoadScreen, PopLurker, and Temple of Geek. Her debut young-adult novel "My Starlight" (a contemporary love letter to fandom, friendship, anime, cosplaying, love, and loss) is out now by Affinity Rainbow Publications. When she's not writing, Loryn's other interests include collecting robots (Megazords, specifically), playing bass, and blasting metal.

Nerdbot would like to thank Tokyo Pop for providing a review copy of Disney’s Miriya and Marie by Maya. 

 

This is the most adorable pink manga I’ve ever gotten my hands on.

Miriya and Marie is a one-off manga about an adorably cute shoujo girl named Miriya. On her birthday, a fluffy white cat comes out of her cell phone and together, they travel back to Paris circa 1910. Surprise! Marie, who readers will recognize as the little sassy girl kitten from Disney’s The Aristocats is a familiar who is set on teaching Miriya how to be a witch! And while Miriya is reluctant at first because time travel is scary, she quickly learns that her parents are wizards off doing wizard things and they fully support Marie’s endeavor to teach Miriya how to be a little witch.

The premise here is simple and each little chapter stands alone. Tiny little stories where Miriya competes against a shonen-worthy French boy named Leon for magician/wizarding/witch/magic superiority. There’s a vague arc that discusses Miriya taking a witch test that Marie will administer, but for the most part, we’re just enjoying the cute little stories.

And the seriously mindblowing artwork.

First of all, every single page is in color. The whole, entire graphic novel. If you look at the book from the bottom or the inner spine, it’s literally pink pink pink the whole way through. But the fashion in this story is phenomenal. The design sensibilities remind me of late 90s manga, like Kodomo no Omocha or something in that spazzy, hyper, super deformed range. But the actual styling is more like Kingdom Hearts. With all the straps and layers, I definitely see the Harajuku/Final Fantasy influence.

The stories are gears for younger readers, probably the 7-10 year range. There’s nothing complex here except for the artwork, but Miriya and Marie has high energy and fun the whole way through. And really, what a creative way to utilize the Aristocats franchise! Marie fits in perfectly in this little witchy world, and she’s always been so white and pink and adorable that this is the perfect setting for her as well.

Miriya and Marie is a perfect kick off manga series for anyone who likes cute, sweet, pink, sparkly things. Or honestly, even if you’re an older reader like me, you’ll see the Disney influence, imagery, and old 90s manga influence and smile.

I give Miriya and Marie 4/5 stars.

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