Walkin' Butterfly Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Sakura Eries
Review Date: Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Release Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Chihiro Tamaki
Translated by:Erin Broadhead
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
A tall girl, Michiko never knew how to fit into a world that showed her neither love nor respect until the day she decided to become a model. Now Michiko is determined to pursue her goal, though success is still far off in the distance, and faces countless obstacles.

Meanwhile, Mihara, the fashion designer who unintentionally inspired Michiko to become a model, deals with his own complexes and faces his own problems. Are their destinies intertwined? Can they overcome their own hardships and reach the stars?

The Review
Michiko convinces Ryo Tago to take her on as a model, but her struggle has only begun.  Despite her desire to catch up with designer Mihara as quickly as possible, Michiko is nowhere ready for the catwalk -- she can barely even walk in heels! Tago realizes this and has Michiko passing flyers in a ridiculous outfit for her first job and then sends her to a mountain temple to teach her some discipline.  Numerous times, Michiko threatens to quit, but she continues coming back because Tago and modeling are the only things she has.

Meanwhile, Mihara faces his own struggles.  His family, a line of distinguished doctors, disapproves of his career, and Mihara's own sense of artistic purity cause him to butt heads with his clients.  As the bills pile up and his overworked staff grows increasingly discouraged, he is forced to face the prospect of having to fold his brand.  Whether designing or modeling, being in the world of fashion is brutal one.

The most interesting part about this volume of Walkin' Butterfly isn't so much Michiko but Mihara and Tago. We only get a couple glimpses of Mihara in Volume 1, but Tamaki dedicates an entire chapter to explaining his background in Volume 2.  While Michiko deems Mihara as a person with a charmed destiny, Tamaki shows how much sacrifice and work it took for him to succeed and just how tenuous that success is.  We also get glimpses of hard-drinking Tago's glamorous past, and the worldwide renown she built up for herself through her tenacity.  But whether Michiko, Mihara, or Tago, Tamaki paints the world of fashion as a harsh, demanding place to be.

A page out of the mangaka's sketchbook, mangaka profile, table of contents, and ads for other Aurora Publishing titles are included as extras in this volume. 

Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: C+
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Aurora Publishing, Inc.
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-1934496060
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Walkin' Butterfly