Fairy Navigator Runa Book 1

When non-readers slam on shojo manga, they talk about how stupid magical girl stories are with their sparkles and their irrepressible optimism and their faces taken over by big eyes. If that is your take on girls’ manga, then this book will do absolutely nothing to change your opinion, because it fulfills every stereotype.

Fairy Navigator Runa Book 1 cover
Fairy Navigator Runa Book 1
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Runa is a clumsy orphan girl who loves everyone, regardless of how they treat her. Her childhood best friend, Sae, calls her names (because Sae’s more eager to grow up than Runa is, and Sae’s upset that Runa lets others take advantage of her), but Runa loves her anyway.

Runa has been told since she was little that she has a great secret power. Perhaps it’s related to the mysterious necklace left with her when she was abandoned? Of course it is. Two strangers show up, chasing the pendant, which leads to her finding out she’s really a fairy princess, the Legendary Child with the power to change the world. The two can turn into animals (both normal and super-cute versions) and also fight to protect Runa.

This is a very predictable girls’ fantasy, in which everyone is secretly magical and powerful. Plus, it reinforces morals of good feminine behavior: Kindness is the greatest strength. All you need is to keep loving those you care about. Good will win out. I don’t know why the book is rated for ages 13 and up, because I didn’t notice anything objectionable, and I would think its best audience would be younger, when these cliches aren’t quite so familiar.

I couldn’t find any information on the history of this series, which is a shame, because the author’s notes indicate that this was not the first version of the story. The artist says, for example, “There are quite a few parts to the comic that are different from the original.” Apparently, it’s based on a novel. (The publisher provided a review copy.)


  1. But Johanna! There’s a raccoon with razor-sharp claws! That makes this the best standard-issue shoujo manga ever (and may account for the 13+ rating as well).

    And if something is rated 13+, no one older than 11 will touch it, so it probably will reach its intended audience.

    But yes, this manga did really fit the sparkly-shoujo mold!

  2. Oh, is THAT what the villain was? I thought he was some kind of otter. Thanks for clearing that up. :)

  3. […] ramblings) Susan S. on vol. 6 of Crayon Shinchan (Manga Jouhou) Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of Fairy Navigator Runa (Comics Worth Reading) Kate O’Neil on vol. 5 of Gestalt (Mania.com) Ken Haley on .hack//4koma […]

  4. Gosh, when will Del Rey license something GOOD? It also has the WORST release schedules of any publisher. Even if I don’t buy most of their titles, as a fan, it’s good to know whether a company can release books on time or not because that factors in whether I will buy their books in future.

    Remember Gakuen Prince? When will they be printing the next…oh right, who cares? It’s Gakuen Prince.

  5. Johanna Says:

    “…I don’t know why the book is rated for ages 13 and up, because I didn’t notice anything objectionable, and I would think its best audience would be younger, when these cliches aren’t quite so familiar…”

    If something in a later volume earned the rating for ages 13 and up, then rating the whole series for ages 13 and up would make a ton of sense (they way rating all of Suppli “M ages 18+” made sense)! :) It would make more sense than giving separate volumes separate ratings and either (a) not marketing that later volume to readers who liked the 1st volume or (b) marketing age-13-and-up-rated material (such as that later volume) to children younger than 13 (such as readers in whatever younger age range the 1st volume would have been marketed to).

    Oliver Says:

    “Gosh, when will Del Rey license something GOOD?…”

    You just reminded me of this:

    David Cabrera, in “IKKI: Naruto continues to fund COMICS I ACTUALLY WANT TO READ,” Subatomic Brainfreeze, July 25, 2009, Says:

    “I’ve always liked Viz’s plan in the US manga market: release safe, boring hit titles, make a ton of cash, and then use some of it to fund the distribution of awesome under-the-radar titles that could never possibly break even.

    “For example, why not have an anthology for older readers? Viz used to run Pulp, but the mag arrived before its time– it was over before I knew it existed– and as we know, the market for anime/manga just gets younger and younger as it moves further into the mainstream. Today, Viz is back at it with IKKI, an online magazine focusing on the kind of unusual Japanese comics that are both sorely needed and completely unwanted by the print market…”


  6. I’m actually quite young and am enjoying this book. I don’t know when the 2nd part will come out, but I do know that Runa has to meet merfolk or something along those lines.

  7. I dnt understand why ppl r being so bad about this book. IF U DONT LIKE IT DONT READ IT!! DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
    well i think its a very interesting story! i love how new characters appear and have an important role in it.
    But seriously I hate tht Del rey Manga stops publishing a manga tht is allready OVERRR!!

    http://www.bookclub.kodansha.co.jp/bc2_bc/search_view.jsp?b=3642941&x=C <–TRANSLATE EXTREMLY NECESSARY!!

  8. In some cases, it’s hard to know you don’t like something until you read it. I’m sorry you’re disappointed by Del Rey not finishing the book.

  9. uh that racoon isnt a racoon its an ermine just like chamo-kun in negima…but a lot bigger

  10. this book is really awesomeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. is the 3 one coming out in Engs?

  12. I suspect not any time soon. Del Rey stopped publishing manga when Kodansha pulled their licenses and set up their own American publishing arm.

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