I.O.N by Arina Tanemura (amazon)
I’ve read the first volume of Tanemura’s Gentlemen’s Alliance, and I’ve been slowly working my way through her magical girl/phantom thief series Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne. I noticed that Viz has licensed a ton of her titles for upcoming release; I.O.N. is coming out in April.
Ion Tsuburagi is a happy go lucky girl who chants the letters of her name whenever she’s in trouble or needs something good to happen. She has a tendency to leap out of windows in order to escape the relentless romantic attentions of Kouki, the fan-waving student council president. One day Ion’s interrupted in mid-jump by Mikado, the resident school genius and founder of the Psychic Powers Research Society. Ion is impressed with Mikado’s dedication to research, because she always thought she’d fall in love with a boy who is dedicated to pursuing his dreams. When Ion investigates the shed where Mikado does his research, she finds a mysterious substance and causes a reaction; now whenever she chants her name she manifests psychic powers.
I have to admit, I was a little surprised when Ion started levitating and using telekinesis because I expect that type of thing from superhero comics, not shojo manga. Ion’s psychic powers cause Mikado to be very interested in her as his new favorite test subject. Mikado is much more serious than Ion, she often manages to cheer him up with her carefree attitude towards life. Ion’s disappointed that Mikado doesn’t seem to relate to her as a girl, but she’s determined to wait until his feelings change. The situation is complicated even further when Mikado’s spoon-bending ex-girlfriend Ai shows up. Will Ion and Mikado get together? Will she manage to control her new powers? And most importantly, will Kouki stop waving his fan around?
Tanemura’s art is fluid and expressive, with the huge eyes and flower-bedecked panels that you’d expect in a magical girl manga. Although I usually enjoy reading long-running series, sometimes it’s nice to pick up a manga that’s complete in a single volume like I.O.N. I’d imagine it would also be handy for librarians needing to add new titles to their collection but not wanting to set aside the shelf space for a longer running series.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.