Hello, fellow readers and writers!
In lieu of a book review this week, I thought that I’d introduce all of you to a manga series called “Kilala Princess” (written by Rika Tanaka and art by Nao Kodaka)! It’s a shojo manga series consisting of five books. I’ve read all of them during last year and, in this post, I’ll be ranking them overall! “Kilala Princess” involves a girl named Kilala trying to rescue her best friend Erika after the latter is kidnapped. However, this leads to Kilala working with a prince named Rei to find a legendary princess as well, and the plot shifts to the two trying to save the kingdom of Paradiso, where Rei comes from. The whole adventure is reminiscent of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, since it also involves Kilala and Rei traveling between all sorts of Disney worlds (though more specifically, Disney princess-related ones).
I never wrote any book reviews on any volume in this series. But, I enjoyed reading them so much that I wanted to discuss them in some form. This series also involves a romance between the leading characters, Kilala and Rei, so I thought this was appropriate to discuss for this week given that it’s Valentine’s Day today.
Please note that this ranking list excludes the sixth volume. I have not read it as of this writing. Also, the sixth volume was published a couple years after the first five books were and is considered a sequel. This ranking list will focus only on the original five volumes. Based on what I know about the sixth volume, most fans of the Kilala series pretend that the sixth volume didn’t happen as reception for that one was not as good as the first five.
This ranking list will also contain spoilers for the entire series, as I’ll be discussing various plot-relevant details of each book. So if you’re trying to avoid spoilers, hit that back button now!
5. Volume 3
This was the volume I wish Sylphy was introduced, and I’ll explain why in the next book ranking. I thought that this was fine volume – it lends to the reveal that Valdou is the villain well, and the Disney characters involved in this one (Cinderella, her stepsisters and stepmother, etc.) are also fun to read. However, other than introducing Valdou as the villain and giving some more depth on how Paradiso is under his control, there wasn’t as much carrying of the plot in this volume compared to the others, so I had to put it down here as the lowest ranking.
4. Volume 4
I enjoyed this volume mainly for introducing the character Sylphy, who sticks around for the final volume after. She was Rei’s initial fiancee (though Rei himself doesn’t really care for her romantically). Sylphy becomes Kilala’s romantic rival and, later, an ally and closer friend. My main nitpick with this volume, however, is that I wish she was introduced a volume earlier. I think it would allow more time for her and Kilala to build themselves up as romantic rivals for each other over Rei’s affections. It would also give more time for Sylphy and Kilala to bond as friends, too, so I think it’s a shame that they didn’t utilize Sylphy more than the last two volumes.
3. Volume 2
This is sadly the last we see of Erika, Kilala’s friend from the first volume, and her final main appearance being so early is why I ranked this volume so low. I think the series wasted the potential of having a “normal” friend like Erika stick by Kilala’s side. Other than being a hostage twice, she doesn’t get to do much for the rest of the series (though she appears briefly in Volume 5 to see Kilala and Rei get married).
However, I did enjoy that this volume continued fleshing out Kilala’s adventures from the first volume. I also enjoyed the twist of Erika being mind-controlled by Valdou’s forces despite being initially rescued as well (she gets better after).
2. Volume 1
I often find the first volume in a series to be a solid start, and this volume was no exception! I enjoyed how the book introduced us to Kilala, her love interest Rei, best friend Erika, and the overall setting. It also sets apart the fact that Kilala is a very different sort of princess. She’s very active in helping others, she tends to live in her own little world of wanting to be like the princesses in terms of the positive values they uphold, and she uses her knowledge of the Disney princesses to help get through some sticky situations. I also like how this book introduced us to Rei, her love interest, as well.
1. Volume 5
Volume 5 was the cherry on top of the cake for this series. It wraps up the main story well with a great final battle and happy ending that Kilala and Rei deserved (including a wedding!). I like that how Kilala realized that she doesn’t want to be a princess stuck in the court all day. Instead, she’s one that actively works for and among the people. It reflects her character within the rest of the series well, and I think makes a lot of sense for her. I also enjoy how she’s using her newfound reign to help those that were hurt by Valdou’s past reign of terror in Paradiso (especially the kids), because it shows more of her consideration of others.
Those are my rankings for every book in the “Kilala Princess” series!
Have you read the series before? If not, I highly encourage you reading it if you enjoy Disney Princesses or want something similar to Kingdom Hearts in terms of story. If you have read them, how would you rank all five books in the main series? Let me know in the comments below, and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone celebrating!
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