THE BLACK SAILOR MOON WE NEVER HAD: ADORNED BY CHI VOL #1 |REVIEW|
Black girl magic is in full effect in this colorful manga revolving around beautiful melanin culture. Created by Jacque, the founder of Adorned By Chi, the story revolves around an empathic Adaeze, a shy Nigerian college student who discovers her own unique abilities and is thrust into a leadership of young warriors to destroy a monstrous character that threatens to the end all of humanity. It's not hard to tell that this manga has heavy inspirations from feminine ultra powered anime such as Sailor Moon, but brings its own flair with a cast of black characters in every shade and personality type you can think of. Grab your scepter because Adorned by Chi is going to fill you up with the magic of melinated skin and friendship.
Adorned by Chi lays wonderful ground work for each of it's characters in Volume 1. Each character seems to be unique in their own way and allows for different narratives to be constructed of black people and their cultures as a whole. Characters such a Kelechi bring the doom and gloom with a side of sarcasm while her twin sister Gogo is a literal beam of sunshine. Gogo is also the most lit girl on campus with her constant attendance of parties. Her counter part, Adazea, however, is the book worm of the century who finds her happiness in text and fictional characters. All these variations of personality traits allows for inclusive representation and a well rounded cast.
With themes driven deep within its storytelling such as empathy, respect, love for oneself as well as others, and facing ones fear, Adorned by Chi is a robust take on qualities that would honestly make the world a better place if put into practice. The manga does fall into some of the usual manga and anime tropes, in the idea of friendship is magic, with that in mind it fits the characters actual dynamic. The way each interact with each other allows for these themes to stay in the front of the mind when reading.
Another unique aspect of this manga is its connection to Igbo culture. The Igbo people are the native ethnic group to Nigeria and have a wide range of spirit world adventures and characters that would rival Avatar the Last Airbender's. Spirits and gods from the culture find their way front and center in this amazing manga. Not only are the readers introduced in depth to a culture that is often under represented they are presented the opportunity to be educated in phrases and words from the culture.
With volume #1 there's not many things that could turn off a potential reader. If you're not into bright colors and feminine energy then this manga might not grab you but if you stick around there's plenty of fight scenes and interesting story developments to keep you entertained. There are also a couple anime/manga tropes but nothing that can keep someone from enjoying the story. Besides, most of us love our favorite because they follow a certain formula and Adorned by Chi does this very well.
Adorned by Chi Vol #1 is a SOLID installment full of black girl magic and manga fueled fun anyone can enjoy. Divine feminine energy is in full swing and seeing a cast of varying shades of melanin infused people is so refreshing. Written for us by us, black characters and their cultures are on full display and fill a void that's been festering for decades. Black women run the show in this manga and are more than just a pretty face or ratchet. There's a character here for every personality type, a story line that is not only fun to read but educational, and the style for each character is simply just off the charts. Adorned by Chi Vol #1 gets a 8.5/10 from the Geeketv Family!