Ahiru no Oujisama
{The Duck Prince}

Author - Morinaga Ai :: Volumes - 6 :: Pub Date - 2001 ~ present
Publisher - Kadokawa Shoten:: Comic Company - Asuka Comics

This is the story of the 'Duck Prince', or rather a take on the ugly duckling tale. Shiratori Reiichi is a poor soul who was born ugly and never really grew, so despite his generally good heart, he is constantly teased and harassed. Unloved and unliked, he easily falls in love with Itou Yumiko, a beautiful girl who treats him like any other friend and, well, she seems to have a thing about ugly people/animals. When Yumiko loses her dog 'Mister', Reiichi frantically helps her to find the ugly beast. Seeing the dog about to be run over by a truck, Reiichi jumps in the way of the vehicle to save Mister's life. While falling unconscious, Reiichi hears a voice from the dog, who is apparently a human under a curse to be a dog and has decided to grant the helmet-haired boy a single wish. The wish - to be the ugly duckling turned into a swan so that he could be with Yumiko.

A year later, Reiichi wakes from a coma to find himself completely changed into a bishounen (a beautiful young man). While it appears like blessing, this curse makes it impossible for Reiichi to touch Yumiko without returning to his other form. This isn't to mention the fact that she doesn't believe he is the same Reiichi who she knew the year previous. With the unconfident ugly duckling within the gorgeous swan body, Reiichi suffers every day in his attempt to get the attention of the girl he loves.

Compared to her other series 'Yamada Tarou no Monogatari', 'Ahiru no Oujisama' doesn't quite meet the same level of hilarity or entertainment. For me, this is because the main character is such the blind wuss who doesn't understand what Yumiko wants. However, I adore Takamura (Eliase), the magician who transformed Mister (Edward) into a dog a hundred years ago. Takamura is the character in this story who points at everyone and laughs, simply loving life and the suffering of others. So while worth a try, I suggest 'Yamada' first to get a better sample of Morigana's ability.

Rating - 7

Sample Covers

ISBN Numbers
01 ~ 4049248654 02 ~ 4049248840 03 ~ 4049249006 04 ~ 404924912X
05 ~ 4049249294 06 ~ 4049249421    

Other Series by Morinaga Ai - Yamada Tarou no Monogatari

Updated October 2003