How far you are in it:
Read all 7 out.
Age Recommendation, Reasoning:
K. It's fairly scotch free- not too much violence, no gore, and the like, but there is some stuff that wouldn't be good for really young kids to read, such as was and racism.
The plot revolves around four +Anima children: Cooro, Husky, Senri, and Nana. Brought together by their +Anima powers, they search for others like themselves and a place to belong. Along the way, they encounter villains and friends alike, as well as other +Anima. The story shows, through flashbacks, the different histories of the characters. In Husky and Nana's case, their pasts seem to have influenced their current fears of water and forests at night, respectively. Senri and Cooro's pasts, however, remain for the most part a mystery, with only small pieces of Senri's past shown and none of Cooro's with the exception of the very beginning. Another factor is what appears to be a war of some sort brewing, with swords being forged and soldiers assembled. The army is encountered twice (as of volume three) by the main characters, and both times the four find themselves being looked badly upon. As the story progresses, more and more is revealed about the characters and the present predicament alike.
Plot/Use of Potential:
To start off with, I am going to tell you one thing:
If you like deep, in depth plots, where some miniscule detail turns out to be a major plot point, this is not the story for you.
This is because, for the first few volumes-the first four or five, it tends to be small stories. The real plot starts to begin at chapter six, where they meet the Kim-Um-Kur clan on their way to Sailand.
But before you get turned off, I do suggest reading this. Out of all the manga I've read, this is the only one I've seriously considered buying. It's cute, but it flawlessly pulls off serious moments.
The stories do a good job, and are fairly unique, mostly dabbling into the prejudices the +Anima end up facing (raging from awe to downright hatred), and the nature of the +Anima themselves. It also tends to show the childlike qualities of the main characters fairly well, including some outlandish dreams (Nana wants to be a princess.)
Now, let me tell you:
If you like more cute, yet sometimes deep, stories with flashbacks that reveal more about the characters, unique characters, and stories that can tug at your heartstring, and a few plot twists this is the manga for you.
This is set in medieval times, and the stories often reflect that (for example, a teenage boy getting married to a young girl to unite kingdoms.)
Overall...the plot deserves an...8.5/10!
The only reason it lost the 1.5 points is that the plot begins kinda loosely...thing is, it pulls it off REALLY well. However, people being prejudiced for having strange powers is also fairly coming. Once again, this manga pulls it off REALLY well.
To Summarize: This is a cute and fluffy story, but the stories in it often include prejudice, the nature of +Anima, how they come to be, the seperation of family that seems to occur when you become one, and the like. It manages to juggle cute and serious flawlessly.
Wow, this is a manga, but there is absolutely one thing I have to say: Absolutely loved, LOVED, the character designs. The clothing is fantastic, from Alabaster's (?) more eyecatching outfits to Sailand's more formal decorative clothe. I love it- the attire's are creative and realistic (they don't wear heavy armor), but you're still able to tell the culture. The tribal looking clothes usually belongs to the Kim-Um-Kur, if they're wearing more flowery stuff, Sailand, and the etc.
Now that that little rant is over, I'm going to talk about the overall style. It's a more cutesy type of art. However, it's not to the point of being overly cute. Everything is still fairly realistic, except for some of the character's overly large heads. I'm not going to say it's the epitome of art, but it is good, and fits the mood of the manga fairly well; and handles the more serious jobs well. Overall, I have few complaints, and those themselves are very small..
Overall, I give this factor a...
To Summarize: Art is good, and appealing to the eye. It manages to strike a serious tone when needed. However, it might turn you off if you dislike more cute styles, or more simply, large heads.
Let me tell you one thing: the plot begins loosely. The characters would HAVE to be pulled off well to attract me to this story.
The characters all have realistic personalities, yet still attain a level of cuteness that accompanies this story (I'm serious. Cooro-leadery, yet cute. Husky-serious, yet cute. Senri-silent, yet cute. Nana-...just cute.) Thing is, you have to remember, these are children. They aren't adults yet, and this manga captures the essense of their childlike spirits pretty well. They act like children, thing like children (they do have their occasional times of wisdom), and they react realistically as children who face hardship (e.i. Having to perform as a 'mystical creature' in a circus after getting caught in a fishing net.)
Before you say it, no, they're not all: 'Woe is me! I became a freak of nature! *slashes wrist*" Actually, they all tend to be fairly optimistic.
Still, a childlike essense can be hard to mantain in things like this. One of my absolute favorite parts was when Husky admitted that he wanted to go see his mother to tell her he was alive. (And, in case you care, Husky is my favorite character.)
And as I said, character designs=awesome.
I have only one major mistake-it took me two books to figure out if Husky was a boy or girl. (He's a boy.) Because of that, the grade on this is...
To Summarize: Characters remain a happy, slightly optimistic air that a child in real life would have. Despite this, the characters are interesting and unique enough to catch you attention. It was only of that one major complaint that this section got a 9.5. Oh, and might a mention, I love the clothing to pieces.
Yes. I HIGHLY recommend this is you have even the slightest sweet tooth. If you don't have a small sweet tooth...you will gag yourself reading this, even in the more serious moments. This is just one of the manga that I could easily get sucked into.
To Summarize: YOU REALLY NEED A SUMMARY FOR THIS? Just read the original, sheesh.
Let me calculate this....
Now, let me repeat, you will not enjoy this if you don't have much of a sweet tooth.