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Zodiac P.I. Volume 1

November 4, 2009

ZodiacPI-1Zodiac P.I. volume 1
by: Natsumi Ando
published by: Tokyopop
summary: Lili is just like any other normal girl – except that she can foretell the future! This “Zodiac P.I.” relies on horoscopes  and astrology to help her solve crimes and track down criminals. When Lili’s classmate is murdered, it’s up to the Zodiac P.I. to solve the case. With a little help from her friend Hiromi, she vows to track down the killer. When she suspects one of her own teachers is to blame, Lili must follow her instincts…and the stars…until she finds the truth. Once that case is behind her, Lili receives an anonymous letter alerting her to the presence of a ghost in a nearby piano school. When Lili goes undercover as a piano student to investigate, she soon stumbles upon a bloody crime scene and finds herself investigating yet another murder. Will the Zodiac P.I. be able to unravel this mystery before the killer strikes again? (from the back of the book)

Ramblings: On the second real page of this series (not counting things like chapter covers) you see a young girl being murdered. Yes, this series ran in Nakayoshi. It makes me wonder why things like this are appropriate for kids in Japan. Sure I think it’s an interesting series, but I’m 19 and can at least sort of handle things like murder (though who really wants to completely handle things like that?), but Nakayoshi’s main demographic is girls in the 9-13 range. Though I sure see the difference in Ando’s own stories as opposed to things she draws for other people (ARISA and this versus Kitchen Princess which she didn’t write, just illustrated). But enough on that, for now.

While it may seem like I didn’t like this volume all that much, I really did. Lili’s use of her “Star Ring” to solve crimes in fun and interesting to watch. Now, not many of the cases are going to surprise you in how they turn out (or at least only a few surprised me), but it’s still fun to see how Lili goes about solving them. Plus, Ando’s art is nice and clean. Not all fluffy like Arina’s art, but it look great none-the-less. The pages do tend to be a little on the cluttered side, but it’s not to the point where it makes it diffucult to read.

There were a few misprints in this volume (like a word left out on the first and second chapter cover pages, so that I’m not sure what the entire chapter titles are), but overall Tokyopop actually did a fairly good job on this. The difference between their beginning works (all the flipped ones), middle works (things like this), and their new titles (don’t even get me started) sure is telling. If Tokyopop were to put out more more titles like this one and do as good a job, I would definitely be buying more of their titles (well…once I procure a new job, that is).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2009 4:36 pm

    hi, i’ve read zodiac P.I., but not all
    have you read ARISA, it’s very good i really recomment it ^_^
    she also write kitchen princess and wild damon, i like her works but not as much as CLAMP ^_^

  2. Rin permalink
    November 4, 2009 6:10 pm

    I love Zodiac P.I. It’s so good. Yeah, you kinda so wonder what’s considered appropriate for little kids in Japan, cause they have some strange stuff in Nakayoshi magazines. I remember Kedamono Damono was in Nakayoshi as well.

  3. November 4, 2009 6:44 pm

    I remember seeing this series in bookstores and actually seeing an ad for it in a magazine when I was…fourteen or so I think. I never ended up picking it up because I thought the whole thing seemed too childish from the basic premise TokyoPop gave out and the way they advertised it. Now I find out that there was murder it in the whole time? I thought it was just her going around investigating small school stuff. XD

    I always did want to read it though, especially after Kitchen Princess so maybe I’ll finally get around to it now that it’s on my mind.

    But I’ll just say that I’m not surprised about any of the stuff that appears in Nakayoshi or Ribon any more. Too many surprises over the years. Though I do think violence rather than minor suggestive *ahem* stuff (if you know what I mean lol) is more surprising.

  4. November 5, 2009 7:14 pm

    now that you mention it is like Arisa. Though also different and more like other shojos (it always reminded me of KKJ for some reason) than Arisa.

    Cultural dissatance I guess? Though there are quite a few violent things marked to children even North America, especailly in the 80s/90s. Though even than they were more cautious (the whole no-death in the first English season of sailor moon thing and what not).

  5. November 7, 2009 3:08 pm

    @mangafanatic: I have read a little of ARISA, but now that Del Rey’s licensed it, I’m going to wait for it to come out legally to read more. :] But what I saw was really good! And Wild Damon is supposed to come out soon too from Del Rey next year as “Wild @ Heart”. : D

    @Rin: Hmm…I haven’t read Kedamono Damono, but since I know it’s Haruka Fukishima, I’m not suprised that it’s kinda iffy for kids. xD

    @FuyuMaiden: haha, yeah, it’s certainly not new. xD But yup, lots and lots of murder. ;] I hate blurbs on the back of covers most of the time, since they never really tell you what exactly the book is about…I have the feeling that I’ve missed out on a lot of good books that way.

    I’m sure if you liked Kitchen Princess, you’ll like this (though she didn’t actually write Kitchen Princess, so maybe not?).

    haha, I’m not sure why I’m suprised still. After reading so many Ribon/Nakayoshi series, I really shouldn’t be anymore. xD

    @warriorhope: Huh, it really is like KKJ. I hadn’t thought of that before, but it really is. :]

    I’d say that’s a pretty good way of putting it. Though I agree, there are lots of violent things marketed to kids in NA (though for some reason I always think of them as marketed more towards boys than girls).

  6. andri permalink
    December 27, 2009 6:07 am

    nie crita ttg 12 signs of zodiac kan ???? keren abizzzz crita’a….wat natsumi ando qutunggu cerita yg lain’a yua….

    • December 27, 2009 7:58 pm

      Um…I’m afraid I don’t understand at all, but thank you very much for reading/commenting!!!

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