It didn’t seem very promising at first and all because the first chapter itself was so long that I kind of found myself confused at the story but I carried on reading anyway. And I wasn’t so sure about where the story was going too, with the female protagonist being 8 years older than the apparent male protagonist. But I’m glad that I finished the whole story because it was actually quite cute. And the fact that the male protagonist, Aram turns into his 17 year old self whenever he’s in darkness kind of made me forget that he was actually the female protagonist, Airi’s junior by 8 years.
Merupuri is written by Matsuri Hino and its genres are comedy, fantasy, romance, school life, shoujo and supernatural
Hoshina Airi is a 15 year old high school student that wishes for a romance with her fated person and to get married at the age of 20. She meets a 7 year old boy, Aram, who claims that he is a prince from the kingdom of Astelle who returns her a mirror that she dropped on her way to school. She brings him home, seeing that he is lost. Somewhat. When they go to bed, Airi accidentally-on-purpose(?) falls from her bed and rolls onto the mattress next to Aram, saying that she has longed to sleep with someone sleeping next to her. She hugs Aram and he magically switches off the light to go to sleep.
The next morning, she finds herself in bed with a 17 year old handsome guy and is understandably horrified. She discovers that it is actually Aram and that he is this way because his older brother Jeile had placed a spell on him that would make him become a 17 year old whenever he is in darkness and that the only way to revert himself back to his 7 year old self is to receive a kiss from the princess. Or rather, ‘the beloved’.
This, of course is blatantly and immediately axed by Airi. She wants her normal life and a normal romance ahead of her and not be messed up with all this magic land mumbo jumbo.
The rest of the story brings us through her life, how she tries to convey her answer to a confession given to her by a classmate that she likes in return, but is always interrupted by Aram. How it’s clear that Aram likes Airi but she finds the whole situation ridiculous. How could she ever like a guy 8 years her junior right?
Although it is not explicitly said, it is shown that Airi gets more unsettled and uncomfortable whenever Aram turns into his 17 year old self. (Maybe it’s because he’s just so handsome in that form hahaha) Eventually, she does realise her feelings for him but obstacles arise in the form of Maria Belle, Aram’s intended fiancee and Razu, the descendant of the guy Airi’s great grandmother was supposed to marry.
However, both Airi and Aram overcome their problems and their romance becomes very cute and sweet.
If you are looking for a short shoujo manga to read, I recommend this one. It has only 23 chapters and each chapter is quite long. Ranging from 6 pages to a whopping 100+ pages, you won’t really notice the chapter length unless you read the super long ones. (FYI, the first chapter is a hundred and seventy pages if I’m not wrong) And the characters are likeable. I think this story reminded me of another manga I read before but I can’t remember which one.
Art: 7/10 (Aram is really handsome as a 17 year old haha)
Story line: 7/10 (It’s not that bad. Reminds me of Hana to Akuma with a certain memory-tampering part in the story)
Chapter length: 7/10 (Too long, too short. Regardless, you don’t notice it… much.)