Peach Boy Riverside: Vol. 1

Kodansha. Jun. 2021. 192p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781646513390.
Gr 10 Up–Princess Saltherine has always dreamed of a life where she’s not cooped up in a palace. However, with monsters running amok, her father will not have any of it. It’s only when a vagabond traveler named Mikoto comes to town that Saltherine decides to learn more about what’s beyond her kingdom. Abandoning her princess title to finally go on her much-dreamed-about journey, this is Saltherine’s chance to write her own story. While based on the ancient Japanese tale Momotaro, this work will be accessible to readers unfamiliar with its folklore source, though it wouldn’t hurt to have prior knowledge heading in. This shonen adventure isn’t very ambitious and doesn’t offer much to distinguish it from others like it. However, protagonist Saltherine finds her true self early on and leaves behind a sheltered existence in a quick display of character progression. Enough action sequences and interestingly drawn creatures provide a fascinating world for readers to explore.
VERDICT Saltherine’s exploits are worth a follow, but overall the story doesn’t provide enough fresh material when measured up against other titles in its genre to label it anything more than a so-so start to a series. The anime concluded September 2021.

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