As a tribute to comics in general, I had planned to thoroughly talk about the manga Hellsing, but, in the end, I chose MeruPuri, one of the works of my favourite mangaka: Matsuri Hino.
(and also it seems I only know to talk about Horror things, so I’m here to prove I also have a heart)
I kept replaying on my memory the mangas that marked me most since I started reading. When I was really young, around 8 or 9 years old, I started with .Hack// – which to this day it’s one of the stories I liked most – that I borrowed from my sister’s friend when we were travelling together during a summer. Then, I always borrowed mangas from her: Nana, Chobits, Zettai Kareshi, Death Note, Doors of Chaos (this one I love and I’l waiting an ending TO THIS DAY), Claymore… And I’ve read some others by my own account, like Valkyrie Profile, Camelot Garden, Rurouni Kenshin, InuYasha, Sailor Moon, Hellsing and a bunch of others I don’t remember and I’d need to see a list, to be honest!
(by the way, I really do need to make a list of mangas I’ve already read so I won’t forget it)
From all of them, though, I was extremely attached to one in specific: MeruPuri – Märchen Prince. Because I loved the story so much and the wonderful art of the mangaka, I researched more of her works and ended up reading Vampire Knight, Wanted and a part of Captive Heart. Therefore, Matsuri Hino became my favourite mangaka.
But nothing compares to the impact that MeruPuri had on me when I was just a high school student who wanted to escape that monotonous life and live great adventures. Along with Airi and Aram, I managed to laugh out loud and go through the many things they did, leaving me with a warm heart at the end!
Passengers, be ready, because today our lunar train goes to the Kingdom of Aster, to get to know about this romance that, at first, has nothing romantic on it!
MeruPuri: A Non Conventional Story About Romances and Enchanted Princes!
Our adventure starts with Hoshina Airi, a normal 15 year old girl who lives alone – because her parents are travelling around the world and her grandparents, although they live on the same apartment as her, have different routines – and dreams about the perfect marriage. Believing in things such as destiny and soulmates, she wants to live an ideal romance in the most homelike sense of the word: with a husband destined to find her, that doesn’t care about big and expensive stuff, searching for something more simple and that both of them can simply be happy and sufficient in each other.
(and this is the moment I’m staring at myself and thinking “my Lord, nowadays, on the peak of my twenty somethings, here I am with the same relationship expectations as Airi”)
In love and influenced by the drama Countryside Marriage (translation by me, I’ve only read in Portuguese), Airi believes this type of calm and idyllic life can be lived with her classmate and class representative, Nakaooji: always treating her gently and with kindness, listening to her ideas with attention and welcoming demeanor, Airi notices, as a vice-representative, how they really would be a perfect couple.
All that, though, turns upside down when the girl, when going to school, drops on the street a mirror in the form of a septagram – a star with seven sides – which was an ancient family heirloom. Going back to get her mirror, she finds an 8 year old boy, completely lost and dressed in very weird clothing, holding the mirror and staring at her.
What Airi missed on the story, though, is that this little brat literally came out of her mirror.
Pitying the lost boy, Airi takes him home after class to help him find his family. Well, they talk and talk – I don’t want to spoil too much, because this story is too good to take the first impressions out of it – the boy is called Aram and is a completely spoiled bossy brat, but Airi isn’t a cupcake too and scolds him when he deserves it, treating him like a normal child should be treated. This leaves a very good impression in Aram, who was never treated like that before.
And why does that matter?
Well. Aram is, in reality, Aster-ae Daemonia Eucarista Aram (again, name in Portuguese version): prince of the magical kingdom of Aster, a place that can only be accessed by magical portals – such as the mirror Airi won from her family.
Running away from a spell cast by his brother, Jeile – once both of them have an eternal rivalry – Aram tried to escape in a hurry to the first place to which he could transport himself, curiously crossing Airi’s mirror. The spell Jeile tried to cast on him, though, is a mistery.
Well, until the next day.
Sleeping while hugging little Aram – because she fell from her bed, ’cause who needs to be a princess, right? – Airi wakes up with an 18 year old guy by her side that they notice to be Aram. Meaning, the spell Jeile cast on him makes him grow old when he’s in the dark and take the appearance of an 18 year old boy.
And that’s when chaos ensues.
Through the girls mirror, comes another person: Hezekiel Rei-Ripli (again in Portuguese; he’s an eternal poker face, but damn, I love him so much). Aram’s page, he always cares that the boy maintain his duty as a prince and even helped him escape. Seeing the result of the spell, both agree the best is for Aram to stay a while under Airi’s protection, until Jeile is stopped.
And how to make Aram go back to normal? Very simple: with a kiss from his beloved princess. And he elects no one else but Airi as his beloved princess. The girl is terrified – after all, they had just met each other, how could he elect her like that out of nowhere? – for many reasons: first, their age difference and, second, because that wasn’t the calm and idyllic homelike romance with which she had always dreamed of.
Airi is very clear with the fact that she didn’t want a princess life: instead of an expensive wedding ring, she wanted something simple that meant something for the couple. Instead of a life filled with luxury, she wanted a country home with kids playing on the backyard and a caring husband.
What she got, though, was a spoiled prince that invaded her life and now said she was the love of his life.
I’d panic as well.
You already know what we can expect, right? Aram trying to live as a teen on a normal world with no magic, Airi trying to teach things from normal life to him, Nakaooji suspecting when the little Aram appeared completely territorial with Airi and she says the boy is just a relative, the girl panicking because Aram really wants to compete with Nakaooji for her love (but let’s agree, he’s an annoying 8 year old boy and Nakaooji a 15 year old teen, just imagine the chaos) and many intrigues from Aster’s royal family.
What starts just with Airi trying to hide that craziness that invaded her life from her school colleagues, ends up becoming something much bigger when she herself is transported to the kingdom of Aster and finds out that, after so much time living together, Aram really is the love of her life.
(and for those freaking out with the age gap: the author managed to get through that with the fact that people in Aster literally live A LOT: even more than Aragorn on Lord of The Rings. So the 7 year difference between the is nothing, once not even a 100 year difference in Aster is something to be bothered about)
I don’t want to spoil too much on the story, because the coolest part is to follow up and see what happens, laughing with the many comical moments and suffering alongside Airi when so many plot twists happen.
But I can say that Airi going back home super determined to hide her “Countryside Marriage” tapes when Nakaooji and other people from school would go there to do some school work is precisely how I try to vanish with any evidences that Boys Over Flowers is one of the best things I’ve ever watched in my life.
We have many other characters, such as (mind you, I only know the Portuguese names) Razu – another prince, 2nd grade cousing to Aram who “gratuitiously” hates Airi until we discover his reasons – Maruru – the beautiful little fairy that lives with Jeile and shares a hair ribbon with him, so she can have energy to survive – Jeile himself – who goes from “villain” to a full pastry that “falls” for Airi, and for all female forms that pass through his eye range honestly, and will be the future King of Aster – Rei – who has a neutral role and very important on the plot – Mariabelle – who is insufferable, but she’s the princess and legitimate bride of Aram, chosen by his parents – Crisnelle – Airi’s ancestor who ran away from Aster for her true love – and Aram’s mother, the Queen of Aster – who is the Devil in form of a person, there’s nothing that will change my mind, fight me.
MeruPuri is so worth it: for the art, for the characters, the plot development and an ending which is more than perfect for this adventure – which will leave you with a big smile on your face and a warm heart. Definitively, one of the most beautiful fairytales.
Read the Manga!
I think one of the best things it to buy the manga and appreciate a story that you can keep forever! But, MeruPuri is an old manga and I don’t know if it’s easy to find – and not everyone has the money to buy all the volumes.
It’s a short series, with 4 volumes. I’ll leave some websites in which you can read online. No excuses for not enjoying this wonderful story, huh!
By the way, for those who like mangas/animes, me and Hekate already wrote about some of them! I’ll leave the links below so you can check it out!