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Friday, June 1, 2018

Selah's Manga Mania: Kiss of the Rose Princess, Vol. 1 by Aya Shouoto



by Aya Shouoto
November 4, 2014
Volumes: 10
Shojo 
180 pages
Publisher: VIZ Media: Shojo Beat
Genres: Romance, Supernatural fiction, YA

Anise Yamamoto has been told that if she ever removes the rose choker given to her by her father, a terrible punishment will befall her. Unfortunately she loses that choker when a bat-like being named Ninufa falls from the sky and hits her. Ninufa gives Anise four cards representing four knights whom she can summon with a kiss. But now that she has these gorgeous men at her beck and call, what exactly is her quest?!

So, I have this habit of reading some titles just because they’re so balls-out ridiculous I can’t take it. They’re not bad, but the setup seems almost like a word-association exercise, and then I get completely invested in all the random things tossed together (and this usually involves texting my best friends about this because of course, I have to share that stuff). For me, there’s one title that stands above the others for these reasons. One that, I’m sure, is just as good as a romance/paranormal title on its own terms, but for me, it will always be pure, insane crack. This is the show that I would fight for if I could get it on the CW network, ever proving that my life priorities are terrible.

This is the title that started these reviews for me because I realized that it is entirely unfair that people don’t know about it.

My friends, you need to read Kiss of the Rose Princess.

Oh, shut up, we all have our guilty pleasures.

Seriously, this title is amazing, and by amazing I mean the most insane thing you will read that qualifies as a romance.
So we open with high schooler Anise who’s pretty normal except that she has this rose choker given to her by her absentee father who claims that it’s for her protection and she’ll be punished if she ever takes it off. After some complicated macguffin events, she loses the choker because of course she does. In turn, she gains four cards that will call upon the four Rose Knights (red, black, white, blue) when she kisses them (the cards. Not the knights. That’s a whole other deal). By the way, the knights are all hot popular boys at her school because OF COURSE THEY ARE THIS IS MANGA, MY FRIENDS. Also, she is now the Rose Princess with her own set of powers and the ability to control her knights with some thorn vine powers that resemble some sort of bdsm play a little too much. And they like it when she exerts that control over them and are drawn to her anyway. Because OF COURSE THEY ARE, WELCOME TO SHOJO MY DUDES!

With me so far?
Mythologically speaking, the Rose Princess once locked away a demon with the help of her knights. Also, since she commands her knights, any time they use their powers her blood loses its strength, it’s all very symbiotic and just go with it. We also have the surprise yellow rose who was a former childhood friend and sacrificed to seal the demon away…

….did I mention all of these characters are sort of reincarnations but not quite? Again, just go with it.
You also have the subplot of each rose trying to become the True Rose (ie, get with her), through a series of awakenings that also help stabilize the seal holding the demon. Stabilization takes the form of finding a set of Arcana cards, which represent the shards of the seal.

Just breathe. I know. Deep breaths.
THEN you find out that her father is actually an evil sorcerer trying to unleash the demon. And there’s a fake rose princess and a set of fake knights trying to beat the real set to collect the arcana.

By the way two of the fake knights are a boy band. (yeah, okay, idol group, my way is funnier).

And one is actually the brother of a real rose knight reincarnated from his eyeball from the last time he was killed.

I KNOW. NONE OF ANYTHING I SAID IS MADE UP. THAT IS WHY THIS IS SO AMAZING AND THAT’S JUST A BASIC RUNDOWN!

The good: This series is so freaking crazy and I live for it. I don’t even care that the premise is somewhat silly, I LOVE this thing. I applaud the randomness. It’s amazing. Honestly, it’s not a bad premise. There’s the obligatory love subplot (you pretty much see who she ends up with from ten miles away), it’s a decent kind of paranormal subplot, and Anise does have something of a character arc, though I wouldn’t put it up there with some other series I’ve read. 
The bad: The fact that this is not 20,000 volumes of pure delight. There are only ten, I’ve not found the last volume (though I don’t feel I’m missing anything. I’ve heard it wraps things up too fast), and this thing needs to run forever. Honestly, for me, the biggest downside is the pacing. There are 20-some-odd cards but we only see the knights getting a few of them and the rest of them are obtained off-screen. The setup of Anise’s choker and finding out who she is and some drama with the fake knights and fake princess take longer than the actual quest. I don’t know if this was an issue with serialization and publication, but it honestly came as a disappointment for me. I’m not joking when I speculate with the right writers it could be an amazing long-running series. The setup, season arcs, and different beats are all there…they’re just not really given time to all play out in the manga, which for me is a shame. The characters themselves are pretty tropey, but the events are all so out there that I don’t really mind it.
Seriously, CW. You need this. This would be everything.

The ick: I don’t really recall anything. There’s some blood because it does walk a line with some paranormal aspects played for reals and like you see the eyeball the one guy was remade from, but really a lot of it depends on what subtext you give it. I’m sorry, the rose vine powers will always make me snicker because hi, she whips her knights and binds her knights with them. Not in an overtly sexual way but COME ON THEY’RE INTO IT. The whole subplot of them being drawn to her and the different “awakenings” that happen through kisses and what not…I mean hi. I would point out that compared to Black Bird, this is way more innocent and positive, so don’t let my interpretations dissuade you from checking this out. I would probably have a very different view of this if I was like thirteen and not a bad person, but that ship has long sailed. All of that is my interpretation, though, and onscreen things are pretty innocent.

But come on, whip vines.

Rating: 20 billion sheep because this is insane perfection.

Fiiiiiine, okay, if I have to be all objective it’s probably closer to 3.5 Sheep





Totally twenty billion though. 








About the Author:
Selah Janel is a writer who is trying to start doing that again instead of reading manga all the time.



2 comments:


  1. I remember getting a couple of this manga from the library. I really ought to finish it. LOL. But I have other Manga that I'm following like Karneval, Black Clover, Haikyuu, The Wallflowers.

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  2. I decided to try this manga as I like Shouoto sensei's other series so I tried this as well. This is a surprisingly funny manga, which I really enjoyed. I find the story to be a little too fast paced, but I shall see if this is fixed in later volumes.

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