Papillon Vol. #04 (

By:Erin Jones
Review Date: Thursday, December 31, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Train-wreck drama appears, but what a slow collision it is.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Miwa Ueda
Translation: Elina Ishikawa
Adaptation: Elina Ishikawa

What They Say
Ageha used to live in the shadow of her pretty, more popular sister, Hana. But those days are gone! Now Ageha is confident, independent, and dating her hot guidance counselor, Kyû-chan. Everything is going great. That is, until Hana seeks help from Kyû-chan. Will she succeed in stealing Kyû-chan's heart?

The Review!
Both of the twins are having issues in their relationships.  Ryusei falls for Hana's trap when she dresses up like Ageha, and Ryusei admits to her that Ageha was his first love.  Meanwhile, the real Ageha is fed up with Hayato's incessant flirting with her fellow high school students.  The latter couple manages to work out their problems, though, until one of Ageha's classmates reveals that she thinks Hana and Hayato are sleeping together.  Her reasoning is that she can smell people who have just had sex, and that Ageha's sister and her boyfriend both smell exactly the same.  Ageha tries her best not to believe such an odd claim, but the evidence keeps stacking up against them.  And even if they aren't cheating, why does Hana insist on seeing Hayato anyways?

The answer to that question is actually quite interesting, and promises some potential drama in the following volumes.  The problem is that it isn't answered until the end of the volume, and everything before it is far too stretched out.  The best part is that Ageha's friends from the first volume have reappeared, even if they serve only to accidentally cause problems.  Otherwise, the story is uncompelling.  Ageha does manage to grow as a person through the conflict, and it’s what causes Hana to reveal her motivations to Hayato, but there is no villain behind it, no one to hate.  And if there’s not anyone causing all this emotional pain, then, well, there’s no point to it in what ought to be a soapy drama.

In Summary:
This volume of Papillon has some success where the past ones have failed; there are misunderstandings and catfights galore.  Now if only everything wasn't so complicated.  It's nice to have characters who want to trust each other, sure, and it's particularly enjoyable to see Ageha's growing confidence in her relationship, but it also forces the author go to incredible lengths to make Ageha nervous.  The cologne storyline is one big fiasco, and the payoff of Ageha losing it isn't enough to make up for the pain it took to get there.  Alternately, seeing Hana's reasoning behind everything is interesting, but the measures she takes in order to cope with it are so extreme that the fall-out isn't that much fun.  Have no doubts, this volume of Papillon is the best so far at being the trashy teen drama it's supposed to be.  It's just still wrapped up in its own attempts to have deeper characters and motivations than are needed for drama.


Mania Grade: C+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translation Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-0345512345
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Papillon