Monster Tamer Girls Vol. 1 (Yen Press)

MonsterTamer01

CREDIT: Yen Press

Rating: 3.5/5 – The Kaiju Are Coming, But We Have Schoolgirls to Keep Them in Line
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Al Sparrow

The Tatara Girls’ Academy houses a very special committee within its hallowed halls. Not a music or newspaper club, or even a group dedicated to sports. Clubs of that nature would, and do, have a home in countless manga, but the title of this book should clue you in that it’s offering something a bit different – keeping all the roaming monsters in line.

At some point in the past, giant monsters began showing up and wreaking havoc (as giant monsters will do), but it was soon discovered that certain girls have a gift for, if not controlling, at the very least domesticating them to be a bit less destructive. These “Tamers” work to allow modern society to co-exist with these “savage beasts” by singing to them. Ion Hidaka is a first-year Tamer who has much to learn from her peers and a ton of uncertainty about how to go about learning it. Here the book falls into the formula of those other “club” books I mentioned above…albeit with kaiju running around in the background.

Monster Tamer Girls allows the words “cute” and “monster” to exist simultaneously when describing a book. Mujirushi Shimazaki does a great job creating cute (and yes, cute, not oversexed) schoolgirls alongside giant monsters that still manage to be adorable in their own way. It’s a fun book that falls in line with a lot of other series I enjoy like Non Non Biyori or Laid Back Camp. While there’s a definite monstrous presence – it’s not lost on these girls that some parts of the city have been destroyed by their charges – it has a very relaxed approach to how to deal with it. Their work is serious, but the tone of the book isn’t nearly as grim as you might believe.

There’s enough here to keep me curious enough to check out volume two. Ion has an interesting stretch of growth in front of her, and the side characters all have compelling enough stories behind them (a former tamer who is losing her ability to sing, for example). The book manages to blend the cuteness of the characters (both monstrous and human) with their somewhat serious task of keeping the city safe. Somehow this book manages to blend something familiar to the manga crowd with something fairly unique, and it’s well worth checking out.

Reviewed by: Al Sparrow (al@comicspectrum.com)
http://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics for Fans who Love Comics

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