‘Sugar Sugar Rune,’ Volumes 4-8

Sugar Sugar Rune, volumes 4-8. Story and art by Moyoco Anno. Translated by Kaya Laterman. Del Rey Manga (New York), 2007. Rated Y (Ages 10+).

I previously reviewed the first three volumes of this series. Because this was adapted and translated by Del Rey, I speculated that a re-release might come from Kodansha Comics, since Kodansha more-or-less replaced Del Rey Manga. I learned subsequently that the rights now actually belong to Udon Entertainment, which planned to begin releasing the series sometime in late 2016.

That didn’t happen, so the fate of the English translation of Sugar Sugar Rune is currently up in the air. Since the series has been released in Japanese as a colorized web comic, I’m hoping for a colorized English version, but that may be asking too much. Also still in need of a release in North America is the anime, the English version of which, as I understand it, only aired in the Philippines.

More than once, I have seen Sugar Sugar Rune touted as one of the greatest of the “cute witch” magical girl stories—a reputation it probably deserves. But, perhaps because the series was largely ignored during its original North American release, I think it’s also fair to say that some of its fans have over-sold it. Is it good? Yes, but it’s not that good. Is it “the greatest fantasy comic of the last five years,” as Anime News Network claimed? Well, I’d have to survey most of the fantasy comics from the five-year block before its publication to form an opinion on that, but I doubt it. Yes, it’s a fine little manga, but calm down. Continue reading “‘Sugar Sugar Rune,’ Volumes 4-8”

Incoming: ‘Sugar Sugar Rune’

I have managed, with some difficulty, to acquire the rest of the Moyoco Anno’s Sugar Sugar Rune, the first three volumes of which I reviewed previously. So a final review of what some consider the greatest “cute witch” comic is incoming in the near future.

I said before that this series, which originally came out in English through Del Rey Manga and is now out of print, needs to be re-released. Something I missed at the time: apparently, according to Anime News Network, the title has been acquired by Udon Entertainment,  and was slated to see a release in the second half of 2016, though that never actually happened. Perhaps there will be a release sometime this year. It ought to be in full color, though that’s probably asking too much.

Brief thoughts: the premise and introduction, set up over the first three volumes, are stronger than the sword-and-sorcery epic it tries to become in its latter half. It appears to break its own rules a couple of times to bring about its conclusion. Still, I like its stylish goth look, and it brings an unusual attitude to the genre, being saccharine and girlish, but with an unexpected bite.