- シュガーアップル・フェアリーテイル — Sugar Apple Fairytale
- The novel: Amazon.jp — Books Kinokuniya — YesAsia
- The fan translation (by Yami Mitsu): Aqua Scans
- MAL Entry — Forum
(Note: This site’s central focus is on light novels officially translated and published in English, but at times I will post reviews for stories that have only been translated by fans. Please support the Japanese books that don’t get English releases.)
Every once in a while I see discussions online regarding the marketing of light novels in Japan, and one piece of misinformation I at times find conveyed is the notion that there’s no such thing as light novels aimed toward women (or girls). This isn’t true though–any Japanese bookstore will have several shelves of light novels that clearly have a female audience in mind. It’s understandable that this isn’t common knowledge in the West though–these books don’t receive anime adaptations, and generally don’t make it into discussions of popular works (e.g. the Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! contest).
At any rate, today I’m reviewing a light novel that is very much a shoujo story: Sugar Apple Fairy Tale, by Miri Mikawa. As the title might suggest, it’s a very sweet story involving both sugar apples and fairies. In a fantasy medieval setting where fairies are slaves to humans, our heroine is Ann Halford, a girl aspiring to become a “silver sugar master,” who can craft valuable sculptures out of a magical sugar that brings good fortune to humans and long life to fairies. Ann is against the general mistreatment that fairies undergo, but finds herself needing to buy a human-sized “warrior fairy” in order to guard her on the long journey she must take to participate in the competition to determine the land’s next silver sugar master. The fairy in question is Shall Fen Shall, a belligerent bishounen who is as cavalier as he is handsome. You can probably guess what happens next if you’ve ever read a shoujo manga before, but this isn’t a story intended for dramatic plot twists.
It is simply a cute story and a quick read–a nice way to pass the time if you’re in the mood for a light supernatural romance. The main characters are easy to like, and I particularly thought Ann’s character arc was handled nicely in regards to her relationship with her recently-deceased mother. The setting also holds promise for being delved into further in later volumes.
For this first volume, the translation reads smoothly and keeps the story moving along at a steady pace, though it perhaps could have used a bit more polishing during its editing stage. With all this in mind, I will say those who don’t like shoujo stories in general probably won’t find much of interest here–but for fans of the genre it’s an easy recommendation.
Cho’s Rating: Recommended