Meteor Prince Volume 2
The alien prince, Io, has in this volume developed an only-in-manga tic — whenever he touches his crush, Hako, he’s struck by lightning. That’s in keeping with the goofy humor of this story, but it’s also a convenient plot twist to keep things from getting too physical too quickly. Hako is in love for the first time, and an inability to touch means the story says romantic, not salacious.
The two go on their first date, but his beauty gets in the way, since she’s insecure about keeping his attention. That’s just a prelude to the main conflict, where Tania, Io’s real soulmate, appears on Earth, and (thanks to manga logic) decides to steal him away from her.
The art is fun, sparkly, and active, with plenty going on and lots of emotion. Plus, the aliens’ ability to transform themselves makes for all kinds of imaginative events and images. The two-volume length is just about right, since it allows for a few twists and turns, but it doesn’t make too much out of a silly starting idea.
The themes are a bit deeper than expected, though, as Io prefers romantic choice over destiny (or a pre-selected partner). There’s a point where he says, “I choose love over my planet” when I was reminded of the abdication of the Duke of Windsor. Also, as Io and Hako actively decide to be in a relationship, they find themselves becoming closer together in “wavelength”. She has always had to be strong, due to her bad luck, regardless of her feelings, and letting go of that to trust Io is an ongoing challenge.
Their now-recognized relationship translates into more opportunities for humor, as the couple progresses through stages of growing closer, including meeting Hako’s parents, her brother being kidnapped, and Io’s brother threatening to destroy the earth. The ending is bittersweet, full of sacrifice, but hopeful. (The publisher provided a review copy.)