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. I love the Teen of Japan pageant plot arc in the Boys Over Flowers series. Let's hope the other volumes of the manga can just as entertaining!

Description: Tsukushi Makino is from a poor family, but she's attending an elite school for the super rich. Her life has become intertwined with the ruling boys of the school in a whirlwind of love and confusion.
  Tsukushi has just two weeks to prepare for the Teen of Japan contest! She can't do it all on her own so Tsukasa's sister, Tsubaki, offers her tutors in everything she'll need to know to win. She must stay at the Domyoji mansion while she receives her lessons. Can Tsukushi stand the rigors of this training, and will anyone bolster her spirits?

Review: My excitement for the Boys Over Flowers manga has been inconsistent. Sometimes I can't wait to read another volume and other times I shake my head at all the silliness, but what brings me back to the manga series is our heroine, Tsukushi Makino. I love that she is always herself, though she frustrates me by being blind to all the romantic cues that Tsukasa gives her, regardless of how much pressure surrounds her to conform by her elitist classmates and is not afraid to give people her mind. It is these parts of her personality that draws the F4 to her constantly especially Tsukasa.
  Strapped for money, Tsukushi reluctantly goes to Tsukasa to borrow money and he agrees only if Tsukushi enters and wins the Teen of Japan beauty contest. Tsukasa's use of the beauty contest is really interesting. One part of him is the usual cruel guy who just loves to anger Tsukushi but the other stronger part of him truly believes that Tsukushi will have a good chance at winning because she never turns down a challenge.  
 Tsukushi goes through a vigorous training session for two weeks under the tutors and guidance of Tsukasa's sister, Tsubaki, who was a previous Teen of Japan winner. Tsukushi is clearly an underdog who has to cram each hour studying etiquette, learning English, and fashion, all of which her competitors have done all of their lives. The Teen of Japan contest is very similar to the Miss America pageant. The categories pretty much stay the same such as the clothing/style challenge and knowledge contest with the exception of the Japanese culture which the candidate has to show if they would make a good wife and mother.
  Volume 11 of Boys Over Flowers highlight Tsukushi's likability. She is vulnerable and insecure especially when she meets the girls she is up against in the competition, but instead of giving up she reminds herself why she entered in the first place. In my favorite moment of the volume, even Tsukasa tells Tsukushi that he supports and believes in her and tells her to be herself. Tsukushi's originality shines through as she sails through the first two parts of the category much to everyone's surprise including her own. The volume ends in a cliffhanger as Tsukushi and another challenger are told their last challenge: to entertain 21 little children for 15 min. Can Tsukushi succeed? Guess we'll have to wait Vol 12 to find out!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some mild language and crude humor. Recommended for teens and up.

If you like this book try: Boys Over Flowers Vol. 12 by Yoko Kamio, Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances by Masami Tsuda, Mars by Fuyumi Soryo
1 Response
  1. Every time I see a manga review by you I think of my cousin's boys. I am so going to have to go manga shopping for them. :)

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