Wanted by Matsuri Hino: C+

In the late seventeenth century, orphaned Armeria sings with a traveling musical troupe. Luce, the nephew of the wealthy governor at whose estate she is performing, is the first aristocrat to treat her kindly, and when he is subsequently captured by pirates, the young girl resolves to find and rescue him. Eight years later, Armeria has finally found the ship of the pirate responsible and, disguising herself as a boy, ventures aboard to find out what has become of her first love.

If you’re reminded of the plot of The Princess Bride, then you should be, because there are some similarities. Wanted is a far less coherent and satisfying story, however. It’s more like a series of vignettes—the one with the navy, the one with the map to a rare musical score—than anything else, and cuts off with disappointing abruptness.

It definitely has some good points: secrets that would normally be used to prolong angst are revealed early on, there are some genuinely fun moments, and the deckhands are pretty entertaining. On the negative side, Skulls is fond of nearly ravishing Armeria and tells her she’s useless far too often for my liking. The fact that she often proves him right by constantly requiring rescue just makes things worse.

As a final note, the bonus story at the end should be avoided at all costs; it manages to be confusing and dull simultaneously, which is not a winning combination.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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