Naoko, Camille, and V are the Flavor Girls, Sacred Fruit Guardians of Earth! In this Hardcover trade from BOOM Studios, these young women defend us all from aliens!

Flavor Girls starts off with two parallel stories: one young woman leaves her house and meets a friend on the street, while another young woman, Irina, is aboard a survey spacecraft, accompanying a group of diplomats and translators. And then all heck breaks loose. An alien race attacks!! So what do these two young women have in common?

It’s such a strong start. Writer-artist Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky (French citizen based out of Tokyo) gets underway in a dramatic manner, all blasters blasting!! And then it stalls, goes into a puzzling freefall. We leave the ‘parallel’ scenario and are immediately introduced to the Flavor Girls, a group of super beings. Where did they come from? Why are they around? Well, this all takes time to unravel, meander and mull over.

Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky’s drawings are graceful, the panels roll along in rapid sequence, telling us many things in a vividly portrayed manner. The Flavor Girls look like young teens, they act like young teens. Their poses are excellent, fierce but vulnerable. We like these Girls! The colouring (Angel de Santiago, a Mexican citizen living in Texas) contributes a sensitive and bright palette, keenly aware of backgrounds, environments, and when to pull out all the colour stops. It’s beautifully rendered, to be sure.

But in reading Flavor Girls, a book clearly intended for readers of Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Power Rangers, a new reader can become confused. How does the prologue relate to the main story? Where is the story going, and why is there a lack of suspense? It reads more like a series of cute adventures, strongly illustrated but not as strongly written. We focus tightly on each Girl, their origin, their emotional makeup. The narrative could have been reordered for stronger impact.

In addition to the continued main story, there is a backup tale, The House, broadly adapted from the 1977 movie of the same name directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi. There are also character sketches and the covers of the individual issues of the comic.

BOOM! Studios, Flavor Girls Hardcover, $14.99 for 176 pages, All ages.

By Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!

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