Flower of Life Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Translated by:Sachiko Sato
What They Say
Harutaro is at a loss. He has been chosen for the lead role in the class play, but his lines are embarrassingly, overwhelmingly romantic! Meanwhile, his classmates are also at a loss. Who knew Harutaro was such a bad actor...?! The only person they can ask is - HIM. The otaku to end all otakus, Majima, the president of the anime club, is on his game!
Majima kun is prominently placed on the cover (in a crown of roses no less) - very appropriate since he's the primary mover of the events in this volume.
The volume opens with Majima in possession of a chemistry notebook, the contents of which he intends to copy before he tosses it in the trash. (Yes, he is like that.) However, he decides to take a look at the notes and finds a shoujo manga, obviously drawn by the owner of the notebook. Always on the lookout for the main chance, Majima blackmails the owner of the notebook, shy and reclusive Sumiko Takeda of class 1A, into working up her manga for sale at Comiket, for which he would get thirty percent of the proceeds and a valued advance entry ticket for the event. To the horror of Sumiko, the manga club, which has gained additional members by this time, has also read "A Daisy Blooms in Louisiana" thanks to Majima, but their effusive praise gives her the encouragement to continue. For the briefest moment, Majima tries to redefine "Daisy" as yaoi for his own crass pecuniary motives, but the manga club supports Sumiko in her original efforts, and she finds her voice in responding to the demanding and manipulative Kai Majima.
"Daisy" becomes so popular with the whole school that a spin-off play has become the vehicle of choice as the cultural festival entry for freshman classes A and D. Because of the demand of the story that the male leads be tall and good looking, but primarily tall, Haru is drafted as one of the male leads and Saito sensei as the other. Haru is such a terrible actor that he is relieved when he tactfully gets released from his acting duties to continue drawing the manga he and Shota want to have ready for the festival. But who to get for a replacement for Haru? For an amount of money and a "priceless reward", which he redeems during the run of the play, Majima is willing to get his cosplay on.
Flower of Life continues to be an ensemble work, and the reader continues to learn more about Haru's classmates and family through their shared experiences in organizing the festival activities and in the group study episode that takes place at Haru's home. These are lower key, but not without humor, realism and warmth in the exchanges among the classmates.
Yoshinaga ramps up the humor in this volume and shows that she can revitalize cliches, making them seem new and funny. She brings Majima kun, a brooding background figure in the previous volume, into center spotlight, where she can display all of his mostly negative qualities. But why is she making the emotionally steely Majima, who never does anything without a profit of some kind, extend kindness to the emotionally fragile Saito sensei? Majima continues to surprise right through the last pages of this volume. Yoshinaga obviously has big plans for him.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Flower of Life