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- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Del Rey
- MSRP: 10.95
- Pages: 224
- Orientation: Right to Left
Wallflower Vol. #01A
By Megan Lavey
August 18, 2004
Release Date: October 01, 2004
© Del Rey
Adapted by:What They Say
MAKEOVER OF THE CENTURY
It?s a gorgeous, spacious mansion, and four handsome, fifteen-year-old friends are allowed to live in it for free! There?s only one condition?that within three years the guys must transform the owner?s wallflower niece into a lady befitting the palace in which they all live! How hard can it be?
Enter Sunako Nakahara, the agoraphobic, horror-movie-loving, pockmark-faced, frizzy-haired, fashion-illiterate recluse who tends to break into explosive nosebleeds whenever she sees anyone attractive. This project is going to take more than our four heroes ever expected: it needs a miracle!The Review
Like the recent look at Othello, I received a pre-production version of Wallflower that was intresting to look at. It appeared to be further along in production than Othello, with all of the SFX subtitled and the translation notes, etc. in place. The preview of the next book and the ads were absent, however, with spaces left for them. The designer in me noted that Del Rey uses QuarkXPress as their layout program. Good choice! That and Adobe InDesign are the industry standards in journalism, so while I prefer InDesign, Quark is a very powerful publishing program as well. Oh well, enough of the geek in me, onto the story.
It took a bit for Wallflower to grow on me. Because this was not the final production of the volume, I didn't want to give it a grade. But, as I read through the book for the first time, I found myself disliking it at first. The premise is simple. Four guys must make over their landlady's niece, Sunako, in order to receive free rent. But, the task is harder than it looks.
Sunako was badly burned by a guy two years earlier and has decided that because of this one incident, she wants nothing to do with "creatures of the light," or people that look normal and/or beautiful. She's decided that it's against the will of God for her to appear this way. So, she completely goes in the opposite direction and turns out to be a big mess.
At first, I thought I would dislike the guys, but I really like them a lot, especially Kyohei, who moves into the forefront in the campaign to makeover Sunako. They're modeled a lot after Japanese pop stars (for example, Kyohei resembles Tackey of Tackey & Tsubasa). They come across as the typical high school boys who are desperate to make it out on their own.
The one I really did care for through most of the volume was Sunako.
Sunako is obsessed about "creatures of the light" to the point of insanity. In a unique twist, she gets constant nose-bleeds around the guys and insists that she'll melt if she remains exposed to them. So, she spends a majority of the book going spastic over this and at one point, nearly kills Kyohei because of this obsession.
However, the guys manage to pull Sunako out of her shell long enough in a couple of places to save Kyohei and then save their own behinds from the landlady. When Sunako acts like a normal human, she is extremely cool. She's very physical and also very pretty when she tries (or the guys try for her.) But, for every step forward that they take with her, Sunako takes a step and a half backward. It's behavior that was really beginning to grate on me by the end of the volume.
As the volume progresses, you can tell that the guys are growning to care for Sunako, and I can see a possible relationship between her and Kyohei if she allows herself to do so. She's also caring for them in her own way, and when she allows herself to trust them, that's when Sunako will really change.