Mangaka: Meca Tanaka
When Hina’s baseball goes wild, she–being the responsible girl that she is–goes to investigate the damages. As she approaches the little-used, rundown mountain shrine that she had the wonderful luck of hitting, she reaches out to touch the shrine object, a mirror. Turns out, this mirror is all that’s left of the shrine god, and when this becomes absorbed into her (don’t ask me how), Hina becomes the substitute “god” for the area. Whereupon, the two dog-guardians of the shrine–friendly, easygoing Koma and cold, tsundere Shishi–show up, determined to protect her and help her do her new job however ill-equipped she may be. Add to the mix the fact that Koma and Shishi can appear in human form, decide to move in with Hina, have a dark past, and might be possible love interests, and you’ve got a crazy, sweet, poignant story, for sure.
Another treasure from the author of the lovely Faster than a Kiss, Sailor Fuku ni Onegai is a lovely, sweet shoujo manga. The art is lovely–one of the author’s strongest points in my opinion. The characters are well done also: Hina fits the role of slightly ditzy but responsible heroine to perfection, Shishi is just tsundere enough and just dark enough without being a total turnoff. And of course Koma, who is my personal favorite for this manga–he’s supposed to be a warm, supportive, canine sort of presence, which he pulls off wonderfully. The one thing I regret is that this wasn’t longer–there’s so much back story that could have been developed more, and the romance could have stood a bit more development as well. Still, for such a short manga, I think Tanaka did a good job selecting what served the story’s purposes best and she kept it sufficiently tight. So for those who enjoy shoujo manga, Sailor Fuku ni Onegai is definitely on my recommended list (although do be aware that it’s not been published in the states–why not?!).