Sugar Apple Fairy Tale Volume 1 Manga Review

"You're so mean..."

In the kingdom of Highland, a land filled with fairies and magic, there exists a special treat known as sugar candy. These delicate and highly detailed works of confectionary art use what’s known as silver sugar, which is refined from special apples. Sugar candy treats are used in a variety of ceremonies and rituals and are an important part of life in Highland. Not everyone can make these treats, though. Only individuals who have won the royal award during the candy fair can call themselves Silver Sugar Masters, and that is no easy feat. But Anne Halford has every bit of confidence in herself to pass the test.

Anne’s mother was a renowned Silver Sugar Master, and the two traveled the country together so Anne’s mother Emma could sell her treats. After her mother’s death, Anne decides to take what she learned from her mother and set out to become a Silver Sugar Master herself. The only issue is that the trip Anne is taking to the royal capital is dangerous, filled with bandits and murderers. She needs an escort, but being unable to find one, she decides to purchase a warrior fairy.

In this world, fairies are kidnapped from their homes to be bought and sold by humans. There are a variety of fairy types, but warrior fairies are the most dangerous. Their skills in warfare are second to none, and they are some of the most deadly beings in existence. When Anne arrives in the fairy market, there is only one warrior fairy available–a beautiful male named Challe. After the purchase, Anne is given the wing that was ripped off of Challe to indicate she is his new master. Disgusted at the idea of it but with no other available options, she takes it and wears it in a pouch around her neck. She tells Challe her plans and that she needs protection on her way to the capital. Assuming she arrives there safely, she assures Challe she will return his wing to him and set him free. But Challe isn’t convinced of his mistress’s kind heart, and Anne might be too naive to see this trip though.

The Good

Sugar Apple Fairy Tale reads just like an actual fairytale: a young girl who seeks a better life has an encounter with magic and must push through adversity to find her happily ever after. Accompanied by pretty art and an interesting cast of characters, Sugar Apple Fairy Tale has the makings to be a hit amongst shoujo enjoyers.

It definitely hit me, in one way or another.

The Bad

I hated this book.

Anne is a naive, oblivious, white-savior-complex kind of girl, and I couldn’t find a single redeeming or likable quality to her. All of her arguments about how she’s ‘not like other humans’ and wants to be ‘friends’ with Challe amount to absolutely nothing when she does the same thing she criticizes others for. And the excuses she gives for doing it? Laughable.

She claims that in order to make it to the capital in time for the festival, she has to take the Bloody Highway despite how dangerous it is. Why didn’t she leave earlier to avoid taking that route? What could have possibly kept her from departing in time since the festival dates were known a year in advance? The book never says. Anne also claims that she couldn’t find a paid escort to take her. Again, why is that? Did she wait until the last minute to try to hire one? No answer to this, either. However, her friend (who is well off) offered to escort her himself, and was even able to hire his own guards to take him to the capital, seemingly at the last minute. Why didn’t she take him up on his offer and ride with him? There isn’t any real answer, but all indications point to her being too proud to do so and her desire to prove herself, which are horribly stupid reasons.

Anne is also determined to make it to the festival this year. But once again, why? What is so important about making it this year that she readily goes against her principles and purchases a slave when she could have waited another year, had more practice under her belt, and been more prepared? The answer may surprise you! There isn’t one.

Everything about Anne pissed me off. She talks about how she has to respect fairies because they’re the first beings to make silver sugar, so without them her mother’s profession wouldn’t exist, yet the excuse feels flimsy. It sounds more like she is obligated to like them rather than truly feeling like the current world view is wrong. Even the scene at the very beginning of the story showing her saving a small fairy from a cruel man feels like a way to put her on a pedestal rather than showcasing her genuine feelings.

The tipping point for me was how she talked to Challe. She is so oblivious to his plight that it made me sick, and had someone spoken like that where I could hear in real life, I would have actually exploded. Her claims that she wants to be friends with him despite purchasing him and holding onto his wing was naive and idiotic at best, and her attempts to get him to soften up to her felt more like she was trying to maintain the moral high ground and show that, yet again, she’s ‘not like other humans’. Her following attempts and requests to touch the wing still attached to him because she thought it was pretty (with wings to fairies being like hearts to humans–if the wings are hurt or damaged, they die) was horrifyingly distasteful. Her shock and unhappiness at Challe trying to steal his wing from her while she slept was yet another inconceivable reaction from Anne that only helped to cement my hate for her. There is only so much leniency I can give a character, and she blew past that amount like she was trying to win an Olympic race. I don’t care that she’s fifteen in the story. She’s more than old enough to recognize that her words and actions are atrocious, and her selfishness regarding the whole plot was astounding.

The Verdict

Cover design of Volume 1 of Sugar Apple Fairy Tale

The blatant analogies that can be drawn from this story and the disregard for handling the situation with any amount of care made Sugar Apple Fairy Tale one of the worst manga I’ve read to date. When this series was first announced as coming to North America in print and releasing on Crunchyroll, I was excited. I love high fantasy stories, and the art and premise were immediate draw-ins for me. Unfortunately, the art is the only thing I can say that I somewhat liked about the book, and it has turned me off from giving the anime a chance.

You can purchase Volume 1 of Sugar Apple Fairy Tale on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Bookshop.


Original Story by Miri Mikawa
Character Design by Aki
Art by Yozorano Udon
Translated by Nicole Wilder
Lettering by Chiho Christie
Published by Yen Press

The Good

  • Artwork is nice

The Bad

  • Main character is naive and insufferable
  • Blatant slavery analogy isn't handled well at all
  • Too many plot holes for me to suspend my disbelief while reading

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About the Author

Kaley Connell

An avid reader, gamer, and writer obsessed with romantic comedies and dramas. When she's not eyeball deep in a good story, she's probably redecorating in FFXIV or romancing a cute 2D boy.

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