The Lizard Prince, Vol. 1
written by Asuka Izumi
If there’s a frog prince, why couldn’t there be a lizard prince?
Canary is a tomboy of a princess who’s arranged to marry Prince Heath. It’s really too bad that Heath is a twit. Canary is going to meet Heath for the first time, but the prince, who doesn’t want to marry this princess, has other ideas up his sleeve.
Heath has a magical talking lizard for a companion (the reason behind this gets explained later). He also has a magic spell that can cause them to switch bodies for the day. The lizard will look like Heath and do the busy work of rebuffing Canary. In addition to being a twit, Heath is lazy and likes to make the lizard take care of things for him.
However, that’s not how things work. The lizard does look like Heath for the day, but he falls in love with Princess Canary, and Princess Canary falls in love with the person she believes to be Prince Heath. Eventually things get sorted out, and Canary realizes she’s fallen for a reptile. Never mind. The two are still in love, and this love breaks the spell.
Spell? Oh, that’s right. The lizard wasn’t always a lizard…of course he used to be a prince who was put under a curse! So now the prince and princess get to be together, and Prince Heath has luckily escaped marriage.
The lizard, who’s really Prince Sienna, still has some issues. Now and then he still turns back into a lizard. Each time he transforms into a human prince again, but there’s no guarantee how long that will take. This poses a problem when Canary takes her paramour to meet her parents. Her parents don’t realize their future son-in-law is sometimes a reptile, and the queen hates reptiles. So when she sees Prince Sienna moving around the castle as a lizard, she orders the pest to be killed! Perhaps this is why it’s good just to be honest with parents up front.
The Lizard Prince, while following along the relationship of Canary and Sienna, reads like a series of short stories. In each chapter, the prince and princess have a different problem to solve. With an “Everyone” rating, it holds promise for an audience of kids and up. I wouldn’t say this is a book for very young or beginning readers, though; it’s more for older elementary school and beyond. Its premise is fairly simple, and the relationship between Canary and Sienna is cute and innocent. While it isn’t exactly rare for a manga to receive an “Everyone” rating, it isn’t exactly commonplace, either. Oftentimes manga are designed for teens or adults, or simply for kids. The Lizard Prince is special for being able to attract readers of all different ages.