Wallflower Vol. #03 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C-

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 220
  • ISBN: 0-345-47999-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Wallflower Vol. #03

By Megan Lavey     May 10, 2005
Release Date: March 15, 2005


Wallflower Vol.#03
© Del Rey


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Tomoko Hayakawa
Translated by:David Ury
Adapted by:

What They Say
A fabulous foursome of gorgeous guys may live in a magnificent mansion for free, but only if they can turn Sunako, the horror-movie-obsessed, fashion-illerate niece of the owner, into a proper lady. Oh, and did the aunt mention that Sunako needs to get good grades, too? Sunako must achieve an average above 80 percent, or the deal's off. No problem! Sunako scores high in all subjects - except math, which she consistently fails miserably. Now the guys have to tutor their reluctant student through hours of course work, avoiding the pitfalls of her gruesome hobbies, explosive nosebleeds, and tendency to faint whenever anybody refers to her kiss with Kyohei. Math would be easier without so much division!

The Review
Packaging:
We get Takenaga on the cover this time around, against a simple black and white background and the logo across his clothing. The back has a color image of a chibi Sunako in a square with an unusually feminine background around her and the summary surrounding it.. Very simple, but effective. Extras in this release some extra drawings, extensive liner notes and ads for other Del Rey products.

Artwork:
I have mixed feelings about the artwork. For the most part, it's very gorgeous, especially when it's regarding the four male leads. They look like every woman's bishounen dream, with big, soulful eyes, wavy locks of hair and a smile that makes your heart roll over in your chest and wish for one in real life.

Then there is Sunako.

When Sunako is depicted as an actual woman, you see just how beautiful she really can be. Otherwise, she is represented by a faceloss blob with stick-straight black hair. This, combined with her surly personality, did not do a lot to endear me to the character. I understand why Hayakawa has chosen to do this with Sunako - it matches her level of self-esteem. It's a bit startling to see next to the elegantly-drawn pictures and really heightens the impact of having this black sheep around. But it's not a style I care for.

Text:
A solid translation is provided here with some distinctly Japanese references changed to American ones to bridge the language gap. Things like yen are kept in tact, and any culture changes are explained in the liner notes.

Content (may contain spoilers):
We pick up where the second book leaves off with the cliffhanger regarding the murder at the hot springs, Sunako being Sunako, she is absolutely delighted about it. She stumbles onto a man covered with blood and wants it for herself. She winds up knocking the guy out and he is arrested for the murder of the innkeeper. But Sunako is still obsessed with the blood and the guys are now worried about Ranmaru. Sunako's quest gets her tangled up with the real killer and gives Kyohei a chance to be her hero and a chance for Sunako to show her true beauty.

Back at home, the guys are handed a quick reality check when they are told by their landlady that Sunako must get an 80 on her next math test or else they'll have to pay full rent for their lodging. After multiple attempts to get Sunako to seriously study math, Kyohei confiscates Sunako's horror movies and other stuff and declares war against her - whoever makes an 80 or above wins.

A running theme through this book is Sunako not being able to remember that Kyohei kissed her in volume two when she was possessed by the spirit named Eliza. Now that she is being confronted with the knowledge about the kiss, her system goes into overload as this conflicts with what she was originally told about being ugly and she promptly has a meltdown. The guys manage to snap Sunako out of it, but do on television - where Sunako's aunt sees it and promptly threatens the guys with three times the full rent if they don't turn Sunako into a model. Finally, Sunako and Kyohei must deal with a gang leader that has fallen in love with Sunako.

Comments
After book two finished on an interesting note, my interest in the series really tanked. After the end of the hot springs chapters, I found myself starting to flip faster and faster through the book until I skimmed the last two chapters. This series has me at odds consistently. The plot lines are very good and are imaginative. The characters do not intrigue me at all and it's hard to stick with them. Even my like of the boys, including Kyohei, is diminishing and I'm not caring for them much at this point. We just seem to be getting nowhere fast in this series, and I think if the same plotlines were done with different types of characters, I'd be interested more.

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