Pastel Vol. #03 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 194
  • ISBN: 0-345-48689-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Pastel Vol. #03

By Josephine Fortune     August 02, 2006
Release Date: June 27, 2006


Pastel Vol.#03
© Del Rey


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Toshihiko Kobayashi
Translated by:David Ury
Adapted by:

What They Say
Mugi seems like the luckiest guy on the face of the Earth. He's only a teenager, and yet he's sharing close quarters with Yuu, the cutest girl he's ever laid eyes on. But when Yuu and Mugi attend their first day at school, Mugi encounters some unexpected competition.

Yuuji Tachibana, the most popular guy in school and infamous around the ladies, has set his sights on Yuu, and he'll do whatever it takes to win her favor. Mugi may be a great cook and a nice guy, but is he a match for this persistent playboy?

The Review
The series moves away from huge incidents that provide only fanservice and begins to really develop the characters in this volume. Yuu begins to get advances from both his old friend Manami and his old girlfriend Hinako, and while that means his luck with women has improved, he still has eyes only for Yuu. Mugi and Yuu also starts school, where Yuu is unsurprisingly popular with everyone. A new character is introduced, Yuuji, and he does all he can to seduce Yuu... and winds up scoring a date.

With the introduction of Manami, Hinako, and Yuuji, there are a lot more chapters with more of the characters together, but somehow the focus in many of the chapters lands on the subtle dynamic between Mugi and Yuu. One of my favorite things about this volume are two chapters in particular that do this. The first has Yuu snubbing Mugi after an imagined slight, and Mugi going crazy for the duration trying to figure out what he's done to offend Yuu. Later on, it's Mugi who's been slighted, so we get to see the other end of this dynamic. We also get to see a lot more of the nice guy in Mugi shine through, and we learn more about Yuu as well.

Don't misunderstand what I said earlier, there is still plenty of fanservice. There are a handful of poorly placed walk-in scenes that will still give you an eyeful of Yuu, but Kobayashi's finally toned the reactions down so that everyone's not constantly accusing Mugi of being a peeping tom. He's finally got his nice-guy stuff featured, and his character gets a bit of depth as a result since you can see him being rewarded for the things he does. Though I think the first two volumes were a bit of a mess, things are definitely sorting themselves out now, and I'm really excited to see how the relationship between Mugi and Yuu works itself out.

I'm not entirely certain if the cover illustration is the same as the Japanese edition, but the illustration is basically the same style as the previous two volumes, so it probably matches. I kind of like the cheery portraits of Yuu on the covers. The extras inside the volume are basically what you've come to expect from a Del Rey release. There are honorific explanations at the beginning of the volume, an illustration at the beginning of every chapter (which is release-specific, but I tend to like splash pages anyway), a page of gag comics (also release-specific), a page about the mangaka, four pages of rather sparse cultural notes in the back, and finally a four page preview in Japanese of the next volume. Once again, good stuff from Del Rey.

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