Monday, April 05, 2010

The Wallflower (Volumes 1 through 21) by Tomoko Hayakawa (Story and Art)

Sunako Nakahara was an average teenage girl until one guy broke her heart by calling her ugly. From then on she no longer cared about her appearance and developed a love of all things dark. When she is sent to live with her eccentric and rich aunt, her days of dwelling in the dark are over. Her aunt has four extremely beautiful teen boys staying at her home. She makes a deal with them... turn Sunako into a beautiful young lady and they can stay rent free! They think they have it made until they actually meet Sunako. Will these beautiful creatures of light be able to tame this dark girl?

What makes The Wallflower such a great series is its ability to tackle a serious issue with humor and feeling. This story is about one girl's struggle to be herself in a society that values what is on the outside, not the inside. As the series progresses, we can see Sunako come out of her shell and others start to see that there is much more to her. There is even a little romance, if reluctant, in her life with one of the "creatures of light." Even though The Wallflower tackles some tough issues, it also is quite humorous and you can enjoy it.

The art style to The Wallflower is most definitely shojo. There are plenty of beautiful boys to see surrounded by sparkles. What I love is the mixture of shojo and a bit of goth. Since Sunako is a dark, gothic character it is fun to see how she clashes with the beautiful boys. I think this mixture makes this series stand out and compels you to appreciate Hayakawa's creation.

See the manga characters come to life in the Wallflower anime. Be blinded by the creatures of light and be scared by the darkness of Sunako. The anime captures the heart of the manga but has a life of its own. The style is a little different than many anime series out there, but is still quite enjoyable. Be prepared to laugh out loud and perhaps even cry a little.

You can find The Wallflower manga and anime by Tomoko Hayakawa on the VBPL Catalog. If you enjoyed The Wallflower, you may want to try Skip Beat! by Yoshiki Nakamura or xxxHoLic by CLAMP.

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