Flower in a Storm Vol. #01 (Mania.com)

By:Julie Opipari
Review Date: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Release Date: Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What do you when a guy just won’t take a hint and go away?  Run!

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Shigeyoshi Takagi
Translation: HC Language Solutions
Adaptation: HC Language Solutions

What They Say
Love is like a storm. Riko Sassoku is trying to lead a normal high school life when Ran Tachibana bursts into her classroom carrying a gun and telling her that her life is now his. Ran, the richest, most powerful 17-year-old in Japan wants her as his wife, and he's not taking no for an answer!If Ran can't capture her by five o'clock the next day, he'll give up on her, but he has all that money can buy at his disposal. However, Riko has one trick up her sleeve--she has superpowers!

The Review!

Technical Review: 
While I failed to notice any glaring errors during my run through  Flower in a Storm, I found the cover to be less than inspiring.  It is very plain, with Riko and Ran sitting together against a white background.  Other than a flash of red from Riko’s shoe, the colors are muted and dull, and the title text is less than inspiring.  If this wasn’t a Shojobeat title, and if I didn’t make a concerted effort to try to read all of them, the book would have been overlooked because the cover illustration is just so blah.
Content Review:  
I’m happy to report that I enjoyed the interior content much better than the cover made me think I would.  The story, though far-fetched, churned along, catapulting Riko from one ridiculous adventure to the next.  All she wants to do is be plain and normal, and not stand out among her peers.  She has suffered heartache after confessing her love to a classmate, who rejected her because of her freakish strength.  Enter Ran Tachibana, a guy who is anything but normal.  One of the richest, most powerful young men in Japan, he has set his sights on Riko, and nothing is going to dissuade him from making her his bride.  
Setting aside for the moment that Riko can stop speeding cars with a mere kick, and Ran, though only 17, oversees one of the most powerful conglomerates in the world, Flower in a Storm is just a fun, diverting read.  What girl doesn’t want one of the wealthiest men in the world chasing after her?  Forget again that at first it appeared that Ran was aiming a gun at her; it was, after all, only loaded with a flower to signify his love.  
I was mystified why Riko would reject Ran, because it is obvious that he doesn’t care about her gift of super strength.  In his eyes it’s an asset, as his life is constantly in danger.  There’s always someone out there who wants to do him harm, and he needs a strong woman by his side who can fend for herself.  That is one of the things that I liked about Ran; he was accepting of Riko even when she couldn’t like herself.
Riko isn’t a shy wallflower, and that’s what I liked about her.  She is tough!  She’s not going to let Ran or any of his adversaries, be it a cunning assassin or a jealous acquaintance, get the best of her.  She is a woman of action first, and then she stops and thinks about things after.  Kind of like my employer; Ready!  Fire!  Aim!  Oops!  Because she is so short-tempered and impulsive, she is constantly doing things that make her stand out, and not in a good, normal sort of way.  There will never be anything normal about her, and the fact that she keeps insisting on not standing out is only going to bring her unhappiness.  
Though Ran comes off as extremely stalkerish in the beginning of the book, his actions only highlight his spoiled personality.  He is not used to being turned down, and not getting what he wants drives him nuts.  He often behaves like a petulant child who has been denied a new toy.  While his selfishness could be grating, his persistence was also endearing.  Riko doesn’t give him the time of day, yet he continues in his attempts to win over her affections.
I loved the art!  Shigeyoshi Takagi’s illustrations pulse with life, especially when Riko and Ran are bickering.  Emotions are easy to decipher, and there is a barely contained energy zinging through almost every page.  I am a bit put off by Ran’s hair, though; surely if he’s that rich, he can afford a better stylist!
In Summary:
Flower in a Storm is brainless fun, and the perfect book to take to the pool or the beach.  There is zero thought required while reading it.  It’s kind of like a snow cone – it looks pretty, but doesn’t have much sustenance.  It’s great for a  hot summer day, though, when all you want is to be entertained. 

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1421532417
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Flower in a Storm