Princess Maison 2 and 3, the review: continues the journey of Sachi Numagoe

Princess Maison 2 and 3, the review: continues the journey of Sachi Numagoe

Princess Maison 2 and 3, the review

The adventures of Sachi Numagoe continue in Princess Maison 2 and 3, the slice of life created by the mangaka Aoi Ikebe and published in Italy, every two months, by Bao Publishing in its manga line Aiken. The series consists of six volumes and has already ended with great success in Japan. Before going into the review of the two volumes, we invite you to retrieve the review of the first issue to better understand the typology and history of this work.

Princess Maison 2: Sachi's meticulous search for solitude and hopes

At the end of the first issue we left the protagonist, Sachi Numagoe, in search of a comfortable home in line with her complex tastes in the immense and chaotic Japanese metropolis of Tokyo. Sachi is temperamentally a very calm and meticulous girl and applies these characteristics to the patient and detailed search for her new home, especially since Tokyo is a complex city, full of facets and small and big secrets to discover.

The the protagonist, however, is looking for a specific house that respects all the characteristics requested by her and this aspect is now also famous for real estate agents. Among these, Mr. Date stands out who begins to take Sachi's passionate and meticulous research to heart, even going so far as to evaluate and select, in his spare time, all the homes that he thinks could be suitable for the protagonist. For better or for worse, however, the calm and meticulousness of the young woman's search is so contagious that all those who help her begin to follow in her footsteps. The theme of the second volume, however, also revolves around the fact that Sachi is a young single woman intent on increasing her status quo by buying a house. This will fascinate and shock numerous characters.

Miss Sachi is a very mysterious character of whom we know little about her life except that she works as a waitress in an izakaya, a typical Japanese place where drinks and food are served, she is thirty years old, she lives rented alone in a modest apartment, has an acceptable salary and spends most of her time searching for the perfect home. Even in Princess Maison 2 we still don't know much about her past and we will continue to wonder how she can keep a new home and if she has family or friends. The latter, in fact, seem to be real estate agents because, seeing her practically at every meeting, they began to become attached to the girl and she to them, building what could remotely resemble a real friendship.

The second volume, however, describes in more detail the difficulties and negative thoughts that Sachi has to face daily. There are, in fact, some chapters dedicated to other single women similar to Sachi, but who own a house of their own. With extreme delicacy both in the drawing and in the words and in the details, some raw and very important issues are presented to the reader such as the difficulties faced by single and working women in a metropolis like Tokyo, loneliness and the lack of affection that often creates in them the nostalgia to return to the most comfortable childhood.

To do this, Aoi Ikebe inserts other characters that make the world of Princess Maison even more multifaceted. Among these stands a housewife who lives next to a strange taciturn neighbor who is also alone and a single woman who uses travel as an activity to get away from the daily monotony. All these characters, however, are anonymous and devoid of aesthetic characterization as a sign of emotional universality that sometimes meets pain and other times joy, but in any case it demonstrates personal growth. To reinforce this concept, there are some pages dedicated to surveys carried out among adult women belonging to three different categories: those who have bought a house, those who live in rent and finally women who still live with their parents. These serve to show the different thoughts and different living conditions that sometimes coincide and at other times strongly collide.

Princess Maison 3: everyday life and the arrival of cousin Etsuko

The third volume of Princess Maison, on the other hand, shows a reversal in the face because, for the first time, it decides to show the everyday life of the characters between serenity and excessive solitude. The story begins to put the clash between two different realities at the center of the narrative: on the one hand that of the main characters who are essentially alone and seen as desperate and without a future and on the other hand the extras who always appear in the company of colleagues. , friends or partners and who show their ephemeral joy because they hide the sadness of not having a freedom.

The third volume, therefore, shows the negative and positive aspects of the different life choices that can be followed and demonstrates as none is devoid of positivity and negativity. If so far the most negative aspect of the protagonists was loneliness, now their strength is personal freedom and full control of their time, their economies and all decisions, from the most insignificant to the most important such as, for the in fact, the purchase of a house.

The house, however, still remains the true protagonist of the story because it is the Holy Grail sought by everyone. This serves as a refuge for shelter, recovering energy, but also as a place to hide one's weaknesses without making them known to the outside. The path of choice undertaken by Sachi continues with extreme calm and dedication, but not without problems. In a special chapter, in fact, the protagonist comes to terms with the responsibilities and limitations of another character close to her who arrives suddenly for the first time: her cousin Etsuko. Her character is exactly opposite to Sachi's because she embodies exactly the prototype of life that Japanese society praises and appreciates. The two cousins, however, will learn to understand how much the two opposing lifestyles can teach both of them and therefore decree the balanced and perfect lifestyle.

Finally, moreover, through some flashbacks we can observe some events from the protagonist's past life. We discover that Sachi has not always been the solitary and taciturn person we have known and that her desire is precisely to know someone. There is a very significant moment in which we observe the young protagonist look up and meet all the people sitting in the park with her eyes. You see just the moment when her eyes light up thinking that with the purchase of a house and the advancement of her status quo, she too would soon be an integral part of that world.

The original and functional artistic style

In both volumes, Aoi Ikebe's drawings follow the line started with the first chapter: simple, delicate and essential. The strength of Princess Maison is the deep and poetic narration that transmits calm and tranquility to the reader, also giving an emotional impact at times overwhelming because she approaches the reality of all of us more than we could imagine. The tables hardly ever exceed the division into six squares which, in turn, are divided by a large white space as if to visually show the sense of loneliness and closure of the characters in the story.

This aspect we had partially criticized in the review of the first issue, but continuing with the story we better understand the reasons for this stylistic choice which, however, could make the purists of the detailed and characterized stroke turn up their noses.


The second volume of Princess Maison masterfully continues the story told in the first volume, with the omnipresent calm that does not bore and excite. The third volume, however, dares the most and is certainly also the most touching and animated. We finally know the protagonist's past and an important member of her family. In both volumes, however, Sachi is the main character, but the parallel stories of other women are fundamental to the narrative. Finally, the search for a house is only a pretext to show the many facets of Japanese society.

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