A recent addition to VIZ Media’s Shoujo Beat Manga lineup is “Time Stranger Kyoko” which is definitely aimed for the teen and pre-teen crowd.
It is now the 30th century and for some inexplicable reason, earth’s countries decided to band together and just become one kingdom called Earth Nation. It’s ruled by a king who keeps himself young thanks to the latest technology (plastic surgery, I suppose) and has a weird cat/android pet named Chocola.
His heirs are his twin daughters: Kyoko and Ui Suomi. But Ui has been asleep since she was a baby. She’s actually trapped in time.
Kyoko has been attending a local school incognito because she refuses to take the throne. She’s watched over by Sakataki Jin and his older brother, Hizuki Jin, who are the last members of the Dragon tribe. They’re dragon/human hybrids.
We meet Kyoko just before her 16th birthday bash which she refuses to attend because she thinks she won’t be able to go to school and mingle with the commoners anymore. This despite her father telling her people are rioting and want her to take over her responsibilities.
She comes off as very selfish in the first chapter of Volume 1 and I must say, Kyoko did not endear herself to me when her father offered her an out and she grabbed it. If she wakes up her sister Ui, the younger twin can take over the royal mantle and she would be free. In a side note, the author, Arina Tanemura, took the time to explain to readers Kyoko probably sounds selfish but she isn’t really. Uh huh, right.
To wake up her sister, Kyoko must start the giant clock underneath Ui’s bed. In order to do that, she must find the 12 God stones scattered around the planet along with the 12 telepaths who can use the stones. The first stone was easy since it and a pocket watch were hidden undernearth the clock.
When The Destroyers, a band of thieves led by a guy called Witzig, appears outside the school gates, Kyoko finally unveils who she is to protect her classmates. The time stone that she couldn’t activate then starts yakking at her and turns into the Scorpion Cane which can manipulate time. She whacks Witzig on the head and the smitten fool retreats.
Witzig would pop in and out of later chapters often riding his giant pet snake. He’s obviously the comedy relief.
Kyoko learns more of what the cane can do in other adventures and readers learn the history of the Dragon Tribe and why its last two surviving members ended up as bodyguards to this teenage princess.
Our heroine also adjusts her goal from fobbing off her duties to a younger sibling to waking up said sister who she believes is in distress.
The character designs are classic shoujo meaning huge eyes, small mouth and lots of long wavy hair. Except for the chapter about the Dragon Tribe’s demise, volume 1 is mostly light on drama and heavy on the comedy.
So if you’re looking for a soap opera-like manga, this is not the series for you.