Title: Tokage Ouji (The Lizard Prince)
Author: IZUMI Asuka
ISBN# 978-1-40122053-2 (USA)
JAPAN: Hana to Yume Comics 2004
USA: CMX Comics 2009
What an adorable cover! I really like the artwork here! It feels so warm and gentle, in spite of the fact that she appears to be holding a slug with a crown on. Oh, wait, that is supposed to be a lizard! 🙂 Funny color for a lizard. This series is “Tokage Ouji” a series currently being released in English in the US by CMX. They were kind enough to send me a copy to look at, and, well, I can’t resist shoujo manga that comes my way! I am so happy to see more companies start to release shoujo here, and I can only hope that more titles will be released in the future. There is only so much Naruto or Bleach I can handle. Anyway, This series is 2-volumes long, and is by IZUMI Asuka, an author I have talked about here before. She did the wonderfully fun “Himegimi no Tsukurikata.” And just like that series, Lizard Prince has wonderful delicate artwork and a whimsical story that combines romance, adventure, and comedy.
This volume contains 5 chapters of The Lizard Prince, and a short unrelated one-shot story at the end. The main story follows the adventures of a kind, cheerful young princess named Canary. She is 17 years old, and lives in a kingdom that is a combination of a fairy tale country with castles (old fashioned clothing and magic), and modern times (they have photographs). Canary is a dutiful girl. When she is informed by her father that she has been contracted in marriage to Prince Heath of the neighboring kingdom, she doesn’t put up much of a fight, she has been raised on the knowledge that one day she would have to marry out of duty. However, she is rebellious enough to speak her mind regarding her opinion of Heath.
The Prince may be handsome, but he is lazy, with a gambling habit. He is also known to be a womanizer. Naturally, Canary isn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of marrying him, but perhaps the rumors are false, and the Prince isn’t as bad as the rumors say?
No such luck. Prince Heath IS an ass. He totally wastes his good looks by having such a bad-tempered personality. When he hears that he may have to marry Princess Canary, he whines and pouts. He doesn’t want to marry some stupid princess! He has to get out of this somehow! Ahh, this is where the lizard comes in!
Prince Heath has a cute little talking lizard for a pet. He doesn’t seem to question why the Lizard can talk, and instead uses the lizard more like a slave than a pet. Heath is an immature bully, and when faced with the prospect of meeting Canary, he wimps out. Instead, he will have the Lizard meet Canary! Thanks to a magic potion, Heath and the Lizard will be able to swap bodies for 24 hours. This will give the Lizard enough time to politely turn down the princess and dissolve the marriage contract. If it were left up to Heath, he would create an international scandal with his bad behavior, so the matter is best left up to Lizard.
Well, when the Lizard sees Canary, he is struck by her beauty and gentleness. In turn, She is surprised by Heath’s gentlemanly behavior. He’s not at all like she had heard! He can’t bring himself to end the contract. Could love be in the air? But wait, how can this possibly work out? The Lizard only has Heath’s body for a short time! After that, he will return to being a lowly (talking) lizard. Nice as he is, a princess can’t exactly marry a Lizard. It just isn’t done! How will Lizard and Princess find a way to be together? How will they deal with Heath? Canary’s adventures are just beginning!
Yes, this is similar to the Frog Prince story, except instead of a frog, the prince is a Lizard. The first chapter is very cute, and feels like a complete one-short story. It turns out that it is because it is. That chapter was created as a stand-alone story by the author before she had her debut. Afterward, it was decided that the story would be continued, so the following chapters change in tone a little, and become the self-contained adventures of Canary and her Lizard Prince. With each chapter, they get to know each other better while enduring unusual adventures. The Lizard Prince is adorable, no matter which body he inhabits, and Canary is a strong Princess with a lot of common sense. I like that she is smart, thinks on her own, is not easily fooled, and stands up for what she believes in.
The last chapter is a sweet modern high school romance story about a girl who is always warm, and the boy with cool hands who acts as her own personal ice pack during the hot summer months. Now there is an unusual relationship!
This adorable series is available for purchase in English from HERE! Go get it now, it’s seriously cute!