While I was reading Kiss of The Rose Princess,the phrase “ Diamond in the rough” popped into my head again and again. Every time a cliché event occurred, I felt like the book knew that. The boys had basic personalities but felt they had hidden depths. There just seems to be something more going on just beneath the surface. I should step back for a moment and expand slightly on what I'm talking about instead of making vague allusions.
The story is a reverse harem with a supernatural bent,nothing new. Our main heroine,Anise, gains a foursome of hot guys for her to control and summon at will. They give her a vague goal of defeating a demon lord but she's more concerned with finding a choker that she lost right before she met them. The rest of the volume is more concerned with the latter goal as a means to introduce the boys. The main plot as it were is pushed to the side with only a vague hook for it near the end. The story told in the volume is rather silly but does serve to make the character introduction chapters flow better.
The boys that make up this lovely harem cover your stock personality types: the brooding loner,the sick boy,the class president and the blunt main love interest. The aforementioned introduction chapters are a both a blessing and a curse. On one hand they show off the boy' powers in a bit of a contrived way. On the other hand it also hints at everyone's relationships and gives us an idea of those lovely hidden depths. Yes they are cliché but they still get comedic set pieces that work and the ending whilst ridiculous is over the top enough to make it work. In part because these characters are just fun to watch. The student council president’s over blown mentality on love or the brooding loner's determination to be just that against the more wacky back drop makes them enjoyable.
The art does fall flat in that the eyes on certain characters do not look right. This can range from simply off putting to straight uncanny valley. Also two of the boys,Kaede and Kurama,are somewhat hard to differentiate. On the other hand the rest of the art has a very dream like quality that is drenched in a rose motif. Flower motifs in general are nothing new but the way it's used invokes Revolutionary Girl Utena rather than just a generic shojo story.
Stepping forward again, I really enjoyed this book and I'm excited to see what's to come . The whole volume feels rather silly but not in a “we're a silly gag manga” way. Rather it's setting up everything that it needs to while it's still has time to mess around. Everything seems to be playing at something bigger in an interesting way.
Till Next Time: Stay Positive