Thursday, July 15, 2004

[Princess Ai Vol. 1 cover]
Princess AI Vol. 1

Created by Courtney Love and D.J. Milky
Written by Misaho Kujiradou and D.J. Milky
Illustrated by Misaho Kujiradou
Tokyopop July 1, 2004
$9.95 160 Pages

It's always good to see a book try and be ambitious, given how many books stay too close to typical formula, which this one certainly strives hard to counter. Yet there is a such a thing as trying too hard to be everything for everyone, because usually you wind up with a muddled mess that is nothing to everybody.

The story follows Ai, a princess of sorts from another planet or dimension who finds herself on our world with little idea how she got there, and only the vaguest notion of who or what she is. After some initial confusion she finds herself a friend in a librarian, would be singer as she tries to sort out what to do.

The story tries to do too many things, and winds up giving mixed messages from page to page. Ai is shown at times as a stranger in a strange land, and we are supposed to feel her trying to adapt. Which would be interesting, except that in other places she's shown as very worldly and able to fit in with little problem.

She's shown at times as very shy and wary of attention, yet on the next page she's ripping up her dress in order to go on stage and sing some really bad lyrics.

Still if the book would have only settled on a theme and dealt with it rather than skip around. It likely would have still have been at least a decent read. Yet at times the book seems to be a "finding yourself in the world down to Earth epic",other times a "behind the scnes look at music and the spiteful world of backstage politics thriller", to a "sci-fi/fantasy epic" involving aliens, wings and the like.

Leaving me unable to really care about what was going on, because not enough attention was paid to any one part to make it matter.

The most interesting thing in the book, were the brief bio pages on the people behind the book. Given that of the three, I'd only heard of Courtney Love and wasn't that familiar with her. This book as a sort of vehicle for her is getting a lot of attention, yet doesn't move me to want to try more.

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