It’s been 5 years since the car company Subaru teamed up with anime studio Gainax to create a short and moderately entertaining anime series. In 2015, they teamed up again to create a manga for the same extended commercial in conjunction with TV broadcasting of the anime and appearances at comic and auto shows. Houkago no Pleiades/Wish Upon the Pleiades Prism Palette, Volume 1 (放課後のプーレアデス), was basically the same as the anime, only slightly less marginally entertaining the second time around.
The story is fundamentally the same – schoolgirl Subaru, who loves the stars, is somehow reunited with a former best friend who had gone to another school. She discovers that there is a team of magical girls at the school and becomes one in order to help an alien collect the scattered parts of his ship’s engine. They are obstructed in this by someone who coincidentally looks like the only other character in the story, a boy named Minato who appears to spend most of his time in a magic secret garden. Got it?
The story was a little scattered in the anime, but ultimately wrapped up with some interesting twists. I can’t say it was genius, but it was worth a watch. Knowing the twists ahead of time, I can’t say the manga has anything particular to recommend it. On the minus side, there is service, much of which is pointless and irritating. On the plus side, Minato’s role in this first volume is much less time than in the anime and the relationship between Aoi and Subaru is given more room to develop in one’s head. ^_^
The best bits of the anime – all the space rides on car brooms – is lost here, but we can’t really do anything about that. Manga isn’t anime. But don’t worry, they fill up that time with pointless and irritating service. Deep breath.
If you loved and adored the anime and really want to read the manga, this is certainly cute enough. If you love Subaru and /or Gainax, ditto. (I just got a Subaru for the first time, myself, but somehow I am not motivated by this manga to love the company. ^_^;)
Art – 7 The background screentones are nice
Characters – 6
Yuri – 4
Service – 4
Overall – 6
The fact that this is a really long car commercial is much less obvious in the manga than in the anime as the car-brooms don’t make vroomy noises.
“Space rides on car brooms” – I’m so glad to be alive to have been able to type that.