Rummanah Aasi
Just a quick note: I'm attending my last day of the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago and will be on vacation when this review posts. I may not or may not have internet access during vacation, but I will play catch-up with your blogs and comments when I get back. 

 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 has been highly recommended to readers who would like to read a manga that falls in the romantic comedy genre. This series has been a bestselling manga series and is extremely successful with many TV adaptations in Japan as well as in Korea.

Description: Tsukushi realizes that she would have Rui to herself if Shizuka left for France as planned, but she doesn't want to be like the other scheming girls at her school. So she begs Shizuka to stay in Japan for Rui's sake. Domyoji asks Tsukushi for a date at the airport that Shizuka is leaving from, but his sweet words are drowned out by the sound of jets passing by.

Review: As I mentioned in my earlier reviews of this manga series, Boys Over Flowers walks the line between serious and silly. Though it is marketed as a romantic comedy, it does give you food for thought in regards as how cruel we treat one another. 
  Volume 4 picks up right where we left off in volume 3 where Shizuka has made a huge announcement of leaving Japan in pursuit of a modeling career in France and demonstrated how serious she is by chopping off her gorgeous hair in front of a crowd. While her news may not be as much of a shock to us as readers, it opens a big opportunity for our heroine, Tsukushi, who has a huge crush on Rui. Rui hasn't given much attention to Tsukushi because he has been openly shown his interest in Shizuka ever since they were young children. One has to wonder if Shizuka's sudden movement to an entirely different continent is due to Rui's ardent affection for her. Shizuka obviously has feelings for Rui but more in a fraternal kind of way, which is of course what any guy does not want to hear. 
  I really like Shizuka as she doesn't fit into the caricature of a popular, rich, mean girl. She treats Tsukushi very kindly, which is why Tsukushi feels a bit guilty about feeling happy that Shizuka will no longer be competing with her to get Rui. Unlike Shizuka, I couldn't really get a good read on Rui as his personality is a bit standoffish. He is obviously hurt by Shizuka's sudden departure since she is really the only person he truly opened up to.
  What I found to be very interesting is Doyoji's quiet transformation from a rich, dumb, bully to a person who is insecure, vulnerable, and maybe a little bit likable. Though I hate how harshly he treats Tsukushi in the previous volumes, he does have some good moments that make me hesitate in completely writing him off as evil. Unbeknownst to Tsukushi, she does have a big influence on Doyoji's growth as Doyoji tries to understand her in order to win her affections. 
  I have a feeling that the love triangle? rectangle? is only to get messier and a whole lot of drama is going to come our way as the series continues. Normally, I would get annoyed by all of this, but I think this is what makes Boys Over Flowers an enjoyable read. 
  Some of you have asked about the artwork in this manga series. Though it is not the best that I've seen, it does improve with each volume. Doyoji's "Christian Slater hair" (the writer has a big thing for the actor) gets less annoying though I still can't really see the resemblance. There is more concentration of what the characters wear which is an indication of their social status.  

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and sexual innuendo in this volume. Recommended for teens and up.

If you like this book try: Boys Over Flowers Vol. 5 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. Interesting about the artwork. I find it helpful to go into a book knowing it's kind of silly. Then you can just appreciate the madness instead of expecting something more.

  2. Hope you're enjoying ALA, Rummanah. I just got back from my own blogging break :)

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