- Author: Taijiro
- Translator: Christine Dashiell
- Adaptation: Kat Adler
- Letterer: Brandon Bovia
- Publisher: Seven Seas
The premise for Who Says Warriors Can’t Be Babes is remarkably simple: the main character, an incredibly strong warrior (known simply as “Warrior Woman”), joins the party of a hero who rescued her as a child. That led to her crushing on him, and doing everything she can to get strong, join his party, and win his hand. Unfortunately, she’s too good of a warrior, and the hero isn’t able to see past that and to her feminine side.
This isn’t the first manga with a similar premise – Tomo-chan is a Girl! immediately springs to mind. But where Tomo-chan was a relationship story masquerading as a four-panel gag comedy, Warriors seems to want to be a four-panel gag comedy using a more normal page layout. There’s not a lot of depth to these characters – we don’t even know any of their names, just their character classes.
Unfortunately, Warriors probably works better in its original magazine incarnation than in volume form. By the end of the tenth chapter in the volume, the repetition was starting to wear. Warrior Woman tries to attract the Hero’s eye; things go overboard; she fails in her goal. There’s no added depth to the relationship as things go on, nor do we see anything from the other character’s points of view to know how they see her.
But while I didn’t think the story lived up to its potential, the art is fantastic. We get a wide variety of facial expressions and reaction shots, giving us variety in the art even when the plot doesn’t. I also liked the lettering; I’m a sucker for a good pixel-based font, even if it’s not actually a game-like setting.
One additional note, the first chapter is significantly lewder than the rest of the volume. While some sexualized outfits show up later in the book, nothing approaches that chapter plot-wise; even the bonus chapter is tamer.
Who Says Warriors Can’t Be Babes? is an interesting idea but the execution didn’t pique my interest enough to keep me reading the series. ⭐⭐⭐