Oyayubihime Infinity

Oyayubihime Infinity by Toru Fujieda 4/5 stars

Oyayubihime Infinity has one of those convoluted set-ups that you can only find in shojo manga. Kanoko keeps to herself and spends most of her time at school using e-mail on her cell phone. She has to keep in close contact with her older sister, an aspiring actress with the stage name Maya. Kanoko’s sister is so shy, she can’t bring herself to go out and audition if she doesn’t have the safety of a character to play to fall back on. Kanoko masterminded the character “Maya” and sends her sister career advice. Both sisters share a unique butterfly shaped birthmark on their thumbs.
Tsubame has the odd habit of giving all the girls in his class manicures. Kanoko thinks this is totally bizarre and she hates the way the other girls in her class treat him like a pet. Unfortunately, the reason why Tsubame is fixated on female hands is because he also has a butterfly shaped birthmark on his thumb, and he thinks it is the sign of a shared past life with his true love. When Kanoko and Tusbame’s thumbs touch, they share a powerful flashback, and Tsubame thinks he’s finally found his destined mate.
Kanoko is much more concerned about her sister’s career. Tusbame seems to have a flexible approach to dating because his best friend, a silent boy with a lip ring named Mike, also has the infamous thumb birthmark and they used to date in middle school.
So we have four characters, possibly reincarnated, who all have the same birthmark in the exact same location. The set-up seems totally cheesy, but I found myself really enjoying this manga. Fujieda’s art features attractive character designs and effective layouts. One of my favorite scenes shows Kanoko holding up her cell phone over her head, sending a message as she watches an airplane fly by. There are some funny scenes featuring the overbearing head of the school literature club. Tsubame’s single-minded dedication to love has some unintended consequences for Kanako. Mike seems like an intriguing cipher, and I’m curious to see how the relationships between the characters will evolve. Oyayubihime Infinity seems like a strong shojo romantic comedy with fantasy elements, and I hope the second volume is as good as the first.

There’s a short pdf preview from CMX available.