Story and art: Junko
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Synopsis: Has a concert ever changed your life? Azusa adores Chika-kun, the cutest and most popular star in the idol group Prince 4 U, and she’s thrilled to get front-row seats to his latest show. She would do anything for him. So when a stage light falls, Azusa leaps onstage and…fails to save Chika’s life. The two are off to heaven, where God gives them a second chance—except a mixup resurrects Azusa in Chika’s body, and vice versa! What on Earth could be in store for this odd couple of pampered celeb and drooling fangirl?!
Publication date: 16th February 2021
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free e-copy of this manga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
High-schooler Asuza is obsessed with idol Chika, star of the band Prince 4 U. Her room is adorned with posters of him, she gets up at 4am to get in line for his concerts, and she makes her family watch television performances.
At the latest Prince 4 U concert, Asuza lucks out and manages to nab herself a front row seat – any fan’s dream come true. Disaster strikes when a light fitting falls on Chika, killing both him and Asuza who has leapt into action to save her idol. In heaven, God reveals this was an error by one of his staff and the pair shouldn’t be dead, so he sends them back to earth where they are accidentally switched into each other’s bodies.
Now, I love a good body swap comedy as much as the next person, but the first volume of Star-Crossed!! felt a bit flat. The body swapping happens really early on in the manga, and I think it would have benefitted from some more characterisation of Asuza and Chika to establish them as individuals before the body swap happened. All we as readers really know about them is that Asuza is a Chika fan-girl and Chika is an idol, we know nothing else. Other characters later comment that they’re acting strangely or addressing them in different ways, but we really only have their say so on this. I think some preamble would have been good so as a reader you could identify that Asuza and Chika were acting out of character without having to have it pointed out.
What sets Star-Crossed!! apart from other body swap stories is that Asuza and Chika swap back and forth several times. It seems God hasn’t quite got his powers down, and the pair are in their own bodies one moment, then each others the next. This makes for a fairly interesting concept, and does help to develop the personalities of each protagonist more and give you an insight into their true character and habits when they are in their own bodies. As mentioned before, I do think some of this sort of content would have been beneficial before the first body swap instance, but it does get into it eventually which is good.
As a first volume, Star-Crossed!! does a good job of setting up the plot for future volumes. It’s not particularly exciting on its own, but it does end on a cliffhanger of sorts which has made me want to continue reading, and I think there’s the potential for the series to be quite amusing and heartfelt. Though I didn’t find it riproaringly funny, I did chuckle along at times, and can definitely see how Asuza and Chika will be put into some funny situations in future which lends itself to some more laughs to be had.
NetGalley requires users to rate on a star rating of 5, so I have adjusted my star ratings for any reviews for manga reviewed via NetGalley. Non-NetGalley reviews will remain out of 10.