Ultimate Venus Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Sakura Eries
Review Date: Monday, February 16, 2009
Release Date: Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yuzu's hearing wedding bells -- for an arranged marriage!

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Takako Shigematsu
Translation: Christine Schilling
Adaptation: Brynne Chandler

What They Say
Yuzu may have finally realized her feelings, but newfound love won't help her much in the face of a political marriage! Despite the fact that she hasn't even met the groom, Yuzu is suddenly caught up in elaborate preparations for a ceremony... but how can she plan the perfect wedding when she can't have her perfect love?

The Review!
Yuzu's grandmother gives Yuzu her first project: the Shirayuki Corporation has just constructed a wedding hall, and she wants Yuzu to plan the grand opening! Yuzu's overwhelmed, first by the huge responsibility and then by the ghoulishly eccentric director she's forced to work with. However, she performs her duties admirably -- that is, until she learns that the opening ceremony will also serve to announce her engagement to a man hand-picked by her grandmother! Yuzu's adamantly opposed to the arranged marriage, but what can she do when the man she truly loves is under her grandmother's thumb?

The focus shifts away entirely from enemies challenging Yuzu's position as the Shirayuki heir to conflict between Yuzu and her grandmother. With the main bone of contention being Yuzu's future husband, Shigematsu seems to be setting up a repeat of the fallout between Mitsuko and her daughter. However, one thing that's rather strange about the arrangement is the man selected to be Yuzu's husband. Mitsuko’s corporation is huge and powerful, and one would think she would match Yuzu with someone like herself. However, a man that stashes food in a Tupperware at a fancy party and can barely fund his own projects hardly matches that description.

Completely left in the dust is Haruka's and Iyo's ruse, which caused so much trouble in Volume 2. Oddly, having their secret blown seems to have had no impact upon either boy's public face. For me, it feels as if Shigematsu has left some loose ends regarding their arc, and I'm hoping that she will resolve some of these details in the future.

By the way, with a wedding hall in the background, there's lots of fuss about kissing and first kisses in this volume. In regards to actual lip-action, there is a dramatic kissing scene, but Shigematsu also includes one of those silly, improbable whoops-we-collided-and-our-lips-connected scenes so common in shojo manga.

Extras include story thus far summary; "Naughty Honey," a 36-page one-shot manga by Shigematsu; and short closing notes from the mangaka. 

Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translation Rating: B-
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Go! Comi
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1933617909
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left