Otaku USA Magazine
Kigurumi Guardians [Manga Review]

Hakka Sasakura is a typical high school girl living the typical high school life until she comes home from school one day to discover a giant adorable mascot named Ginger in her living room. Ginger looks like a cross between a penguin and a bull and oozes fuzzy adorableness, aside from the sarcastic placards he holds up in order to converse.

Turns out Hakka has been chosen, as in “the chosen one,” to protect this world from an extradimensional threat! Hakka and two other students, snobby Nobara and mellow Satsuki, find themselves protectors not just of their school, but the entire world. Each of the three has their own fuzzy mascot who, with a kiss, turns into one of three hot guys who grant the Guardians the power to fight the invaders. At first, Hakka and Ginger get along like a house on fire, but they slowly get comfortable with each other. The Guardians must save their fellow students from having their hearts stolen and being turned into puppets.

Kigurumi Guardians mixes humor, bishonen, a sprinkling of Sailor Moon, and Lily Hoshino’s gorgeous artwork into a beautiful twist on magical girls. Instead of the magical girls having cute mascot side characters, the cute mascots are huge and turn into hot guys, killing two birds with one stone (hot dudes and mascots!). The kigurumi can also enchant whatever is handy and turn it into a weapon for their partners, such as magic push brooms and trashcan lids. Hakka is horrified that she has to kiss (repeatedly) a complete stranger, especially one who has seen her naked. However she has little choice, especially after an attack by the baddies nearly kills her.

Hoshino has a knack for stunning artwork and good stories and Kigurumi Guardians is no exception. Every page hums with energy and the beautiful character designs are a feast for the eyes. Hoshino’s art is worth the cover price alone, but luckily it’s also attached to a good story with likable characters, a hint of yaoi, and lots of humor. Recommended.

publisher: Kodansha Comics
story and art: Lily Hoshino
rating: 13+

This story appears in the December 2017 issue of Otaku USA Magazine. Click here to get a print copy.