Rummanah Aasi
   Manga Mondays is a meme hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read where bloggers can share their passion for reading mangas. It's a great place to get new manga titles to try and to meet new bloggers. The Boys over Flowers manga series totes the line between silly and seriousness and this third volume is a perfect example.

Description: Romantic complications occur when Kazuya, furious about the kiss between Domyoji and Tsukushi, challenges Domyoji to a squid fishing competition. Domyoji starts spreading rumors that Tsukushi is in love with him. When he discovers she's in love with Rui, he goes on a rampage - a rampage that turns into an attack on Tsukushi.

Review: While Boys over Flowers is written as your typical shojo manga, it does address some important social issues such as class conflict and bullying. The comedic moments might seem to allow the underlying serious issues to go undetected, but in my opinion it helps to make them standout much clearer.
  Volume 3 picks up exactly where the last volume ended. Tsukushi realizes that the mysterious stranger she kissed on the cruise ship turns out to be Domyoji and not Rui like she hoped. Tsukushi is shocked, humiliated, and heart broken since she clearly has eyes only for Rui. Meanwhile Rui is sending Tsukushi mixed signals and also tries to persuade his longtime best friend, Shizuka, to be with him. The romantic tangles get even more confusing when Domyoji seems to be falling for Tsukushi though he admits he is only having fun teasing her though there is a softness in his eyes whenever he sees Tsukushi.
  I'm not really on any teams regarding Domyoji or Rui. Domyoji has clearly anger management issues. He goes on a tyrant when he finds out that Tsukushi has a crush on Rui. He picks on a random boy to bully and to assault. He even goes so far that attempts to sexually assault Tsukushi but realizes he is making a mistake and stops. It's important to note that many readers felt uncomfortable with this scene. I did too at first, but I did read about this aspect in articles written by manga experts. Almost all of them point out that this technique is commonly used in shojo mangas and point out that the almost assault is to show sexual intimidation. What I find interesting is that another form of assault occurs later in the volume when Tsukushi fights a man who is pushing a girl to have sex with him. Perhaps this incident is make us aware that both Tsukushi and Domyoji have violent tendencies and nothing more.
  Unlike Domyoji who has aspects we can pinpoint and not like, Rui is much harder to figure out. He is the quietest out of the F4 bunch and he has lots of calm moments shared with Tsukushi. His feelings for Shizuka is very clear and I don't see him stringing Tsukushi along. I'm curious to see how his character develops.
  Boys over Flowers has a lot of things happening plotwise and I'm sure it will focus more on characters once the overall story arc is established. I'm not a fun of the manga's illustration as they seem much more cartoony to me than regular mangas. I do plan on either watching the anime or the drama series based on the manga once I finish it.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are incidents of bullying, attempted sexual assault, sexual situations, language, and underage drinking. Recommended for teens and up.

If you like this book try: Boys Over Flowers Vol. 4 by Yoko Kamio, Ouran High School Host Club by Bistco Hatori, Kodocha by Miho Obana, Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances by Masami Tsuda
2 Responses
  1. It is very interesting to note your take on the sexual assault situations. I like that you took the time and researched it instead of getting all angry about it. I can't say that this is one I would be drawn toward but on the other hand it is interesting.

  2. The bullying issue is good to read about. I've heard that it's a real problem in Japanese schools - as it is in the US.

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