Sugar Sugar Rune Vol. 1

By Moyoco Anno
224 pages, black and white
Published by Del Rey

By now, it’s hard to have missed out on the pop culture juggernaut that was Pokemon. Even if you were fortunate enough to never see an episode of the show, or the card game, or the multiple video games, or even the movies, you’re probably still familiar with the basic concept of kids trying to collect all the different Pokemon creatures. In retrospect, I think that’s what instantly caught my attention with Sugar Sugar Rune; it took the “gotta catch em all!” attitude and gave it an interesting twist… instead it’s about two girls competing to collect boys’s hearts.

Vanilla and Chocolat are two young witches who have left the Magic World and come to Earth to be part of a competition—and the winner will become the new Queen of Magic World. All they need to do is collect the most hearts from boys, but in order to do that they first need to win the hearts. Even worse, boys in Magic World and boys on Earth are completely different, so Chocolat’s bold, in-your-face tactics that served her so well in Magic World are utterly useless here while shy Vanilla is getting hearts left and right. And of course, if either witch is unlucky enough to lose their own heart, they can never return to Magic World. This isn’t going to be as easy as it first seemed, is it?

The moment when I knew that Sugar Sugar Rune had grabbed me was probably when Chocolat suddenly realized that being a strong, confident person was going to scare off boys rather than attract them. It’s such a perfectly telling comment on adolescence and gender, with something that signals maturity and understanding yourself being exactly what boys are not looking for. As for the story itself, it’s cute and fun as we watch Chocolat fumble her way through the early stages of the competition even as it serves for a gigantic metaphor for relationships. Hearts aren’t worth set amounts, but depend on what state they were in when captured. Vanilla’s captured hearts, full of longing and wistfulness, are worth much more than when Chocolat grabs a heart through terror rather than desire. Of course, there are other obstacles in Chocolat’s way, like the mysterious student Pierre who threatens to steal her heart, but I like the fact that (at least for now) Moyoco Anno shows restraint in overusing any one problem, keeping the series varied and interesting. Even the magic system is well thought out and full of metaphors about the real world; for example, Chocolat wants to learn a spell to clean the house, but discovers that it only works if you already have put the effort in to understand where everything goes. Magic is a tool, but never a short cut in this book, be it cleaning or forming relationships. There’s literally a wealth of possibilities offered up in the basic premise of Sugar Sugar Rune, and it looks like Anno’s ready to explore them.

The art for Sugar Sugar Rune could best be described as, well, cute. In some ways it’s what people used to automatically expect from Japanese artists a decade or two ago, when translated comics were few and far between. The girls have large eyes and wispy hair, with perpetual sweet and innocent expressions on their faces. There’s more to Anno’s art than that, though. I love the baroque backgrounds drawn onto many of the pages, for example, and there’s a real sense of style in the characters (especially the flamboyant Rockin’ Robin who serves as the girls’s mentor), which is impressive when you consider that the girls spend most of their time at a school where everyone wears uniforms. Best of all, though, I love the full-page montage that occurs every time that one of the girls captures a heart. It’s got a lot of flair and style to it, and makes the event really stand out as something special.

Sugar Sugar Rune, despite its bizarre title (it’s the words that begin a number of spells), is in many ways a pretty straight-forward book. What makes it stand out is the care that’s taken by Anno in making the book’s competition a reflection of real life, as well as the little flourishes in the art. Sugar Sugar Rune makes sure that you don’t forget the book, and I’m confident based on this first volume that there’s a lot more cleverness and inventive ideas awaiting in future volumes. This is definitely recommended.

Purchase Links: Amazon.com

42 comments to Sugar Sugar Rune Vol. 1

  • marty

    Hey there, you did a great article about sugar sugar rune…. I love it…. Great, good job guyz….
    I love Sugar Sugar Rune!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

  • eileen

    hmm..i like the chinese verison much better..
    as this is fr japen verision.. the spells r different too…

    and i watch the last ep alrdy is so nice!!

    they 2 finally get together (on tv) (SCV)

  • Itaru

    Where can you read Sugar Rune Manga on the internet??????????????????????????????????????

  • elle

    is very fun

    sugar sugar rune!!!

    ???????

  • peter

    u can watch Sugar Sugar Rune at http://www.crunchyroll.com but u will need an acount (it’s FREE!)

  • Zork

    I like this story very much

  • fern

    hey!!!..does anyone knows if there’s any sugar sugar rune DVDs or CDs on sale?..

  • I love it!I like the story and the drawings and the love tips!Thanks!

  • hey!!!!!!!everyone,do anyone knows where can i buy sugar sugar rune comic??????………

  • poison ivy

    really love the story.
    is there anyway to get the whole set of comic?
    51 episode…^^

  • Nazo

    @Peter: Itaru was talking about finding the manga to read online not the anime online to watch

  • Kawaii

    Hey good job! I like chocolat cos shes like me…..anyway Vanilla is like a big crybaby..
    Episode 39 check it out (its really intresting)

  • I love the article.Where can you find the comics and movies? I like Vanilla ‘coz she’s more gentle.Really love the story.

  • lah

    i very like chocola. she cute. i relly want to read sugar sugar rune manga…how can i read manga sugar sugar rune for free??

  • the last episode was so enchanting.pierre and chocola will be together whilst vaniolla is in her normal form not as the olger”s princess……….

  • it is very fantastic too
    …if some of u r malaysians check the comic manga at borders….but the price will be expensive…it btakes almost 3-4 hours reading it…the price in malaysia is only RM 40.00,or thirty something

  • if u r not malaysians plzzzz try to find in any borders or order through internet

  • tare

    hey,i like chocola,but where can i find d comic in chinese one?anyone know pls email back to my add piggytare@gmail.com, pls state it is sugar sugar rune

  • superman

    chocolat better she so evil i like that heheehe

  • NEZ

    I LIKE BEST VANILLA BECAUSE SHE IS CUTE AND DEMURE AND I WANT HOUX TO BE HER PARTNER I HOPE I CAN WATCH SUGAR SUGAR RUNE IN HERO BECAUSE I AM A BIG FAN OF SUGAR SUGAR RUNE ESPECIALLY VANILLA MIEUX

  • Pauline

    I like Pierre nd chocola when they fall in love together i am very curios to watch sugar sugar rune! even when i am in school i still remeber what happend tnx

  • Chloe

    Where did you buy the book?

  • Chloe — Click on either of the Purchase Links at the end of the review!

  • i already buy that book because it is awsome! i love it! but please put again sugar sugar rune in HERO TV!please!tnx mwahhhhhh!

  • I like sugar runes is very beautiful!! compliment to the author!! ^ _ ^

  • I like sugar sugar rune because i like too(Woo),(soul),(Akira)and(Nishitani) OMG !!!

  • riukuchan21

    hi!!! kya!! i like sugar sugar rune!!! chocolate n vanilla is so,,,, cute!!

  • bellandy

    oh i love sugar sugar rune…its really cute and i love chocolat, she’s so adorable and cute….by the way, where can i read the manga? if anybody knows about it please email me….thanks..

  • my friend thinks pierre is a girl

  • raniz

    the last episode dam romantic… chocola kiss that yellow hair guy… i heard that there is episode 52 and 53… anyway , you can buy the disc frm parkway

  • jia min

    i really, really, really like woo! he’s so cute…

  • i very like chocola n vanila!!!also the two twins!!they are so hansem!!!pierre too!!!but i think pierre is too old 4 chocola!!!i oso hav the DVD of sugar sugar rune languege of cantose!!>_<

  • marissa

    I really like SSR. It’s so cool and fun. I like Chocola, she so cute and funny (and evil). Vanilla isn’t bad either, but Chocola is my favourite. I like the manga and the anime, shortly, I like everything about SSR!

  • jing

    i like it very much since i see it on tv now i am finding this cartoon for about two year where can i buy it in Myanmar????

  • shenna

    eloowww.,., wat a great article.,. im a fan of sugar sugar rune,., from phil.

  • KrystalTsuki

    I really like how Moyoco-san draws their faces. Even though I’m a bit of a tom-boy, I can’t help but love anime like this.~<3

  • tEREPA

    My name is Teresa and i?m from Madrid. My best friend is Dasha, from Rusia. We wre like Chocola and Vanilla (i am like chocola and she is like vanilla) I am very happy and very brave, and i was very agresive with the boys, like chocola was. Dasha is very introvert and she is a very good person, very sweet. My bests friends are like Houx and Soul, and the boy I like is like Pierre without ne noir. The person who wash my house and who takes care of me is Paola Lovin, like Rock?n Lovin. They have the same surname. My life have a lot of things from S2R. Dasha and me are making a Sugar Sugar Rune film and is so grat.
    contact with me if you want (aseret-p@hotmail.com)
    bye!!

  • ginlite

    waaaaaaaaaah pierre is sooooooo cute…wahahhaha i like this manga but, just one volume is so expensive..>o<

  • sazuko

    huh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!i wish somone would tell me i’m the biggest fan of of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!got to tell me! o yeah i’m kinda like vanilla! i’m shy towards everything and i and boys somtime loves to fun with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!i hope i can download sugar rune for free!!!!!!!!!!if u tell me plz!!!!!!!!!!!!plz o plz! tnx ppl! i love u guys!hmmmmmmmmm…….srry bout love u guys….i waz too excited…u no…..um… so …u no…….um…eh……mhm mmmm…..srry!!! so srry! jus to alpologize! so srry bout before! am i actiong too much of vanilla? “sigh” i wish i could be more braver…….hmmm

  • keren zabala

    i like the english version, and when chocola & pier part i wish there is part 2 reply soon if there is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im your biggest fan…

  • Sugardust

    OMG!!!I loved sugar sugar rune SO much that I watched it on YouTube 6 times!6×51=306 episodes!!

  • keren zabala

    Really that’s great!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really love it