Shinobi Life Vol. 1

SHINOBILIFE1

What’s on the back: Beni is a privileged girl, who could get anything she wants, except…she wants to die, to spite her father. But one day a mysterious man named Kagetora fell down from the sky. He turns out to be a ninja who has sworn his loyalty to Beni, as her bodyguard. Kagetora comes from the past, and spent his life protecting Beni-Hime who he would risk his life for. But Kagetora mistakens Beni as the princess from the past. Can true love and honor survive after centuries-long time warp – in a crazy modern world?

Review: Beni lives a life full of hatred for her estranged father due to the death of her mother when she was younger. She jumps at any chances that would endanger her life. For example, getting kidnapped, or living recklessly. Kagetora, a man who strangely dresses as a ninja, dropped down from the sky, and turns Beni’s life plans upside down (not that it’s a bad thing). Kagetora is in fact a ninja who has traveled to the future and believes that Beni is the Hime-Sama who he was sworn to protect. As time passes on, Beni falls for Kagetora, but she doesn’t have the heart to tell him that she’s not his princess.

I heard a lot of great things about this manga. But honestly, it’s only mediocre. It seems to fit into you’re perfect senario of a shoujo. Eg. Strong-will/depressed heroine rescued by a hero, who then changes her prospects on life. I’m not complaining about it though. I love myself some good shoujo. I only wanted something new and fresh. Nevertheless, Shinobi Life was still a very decent read.

What I like best about the story, was probably the problems the main characters have to deal with, such as social standings. Kagetora (even if he’s from the past) strongly believes that social standings is a rule that should be followed closely. Which leads to Beni’s problems. Beni, even though she’s not a real princess, is still a young wealthy heiress. She finds herself falling in love with Kagetora, but it’s impossible for Kagetora to fall in love with her because it goes against his upbringing.

The second half of the manga was probably the better half for me, since it deals with time traveling. Here we meet a plethora of new characters including the real princess, and also Kagetora’s arch enemy. We also see Kagetora and Beni kind of getting together. But the presence of Beni’s father probably means that the couple is probably going to go through more hardships before they are together officially.

I didn’t mention this before, but the way Kagetora sees and treats Beni is somewhat hilarious. We have to remember that Kagetora comes from the past, where modesty is very important. Beni is raised in the 21st century where bare shoulders, and bikini tops are normal. It’s cute when Kagetora begs Beni to wear more appropriate clothing.

I got to admit, even though the story is mediocre, the art is what caught my attention. I’m a sucker for pretty artwork, and Shinobi Life seems to have been drawn in a very visual pleasing way. I love the way Kagetora looks. Also, Beni’s character design wasn’t so bad as well. My only complaint is the publisher. Tokyopop, I love you but your paper quality sucks. I always get disappointed when a good manga gets crappy paper. It takes away from my enjoyment factor.

Final Thoughts: Even though this is just a typical shoujo, I found it to be a very fun read. I would love to see how Beni’s and Kagetora’s relationship develops and what kind of obstacle is Beni’s father trying to throw at them. I’m guessing that Beni has a fiance she doesn’t know about lol, the curse of a typical shoujo, you’ll always know what will happen next. I want to see more of the new characters, especially Kagetora’s arch enemy, Hitaki. Another time traveling chapter wouldn’t be so bad as well! =D

Overall Grade: C+

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