Friday, January 02, 2015

Boys Over Flowers, Volume 1 by Yoko Kamio

To make her parents happy, Tsukushi Makino enrolls in the prestigious Eitoku Academy.  At Eitoku, Makino gets to mingle with the children of the elite.  However, not everything is perfect at Eitoku.  It is ruled by the “F4” group and if you cross one of the F4 members, your days at Eitoku can be numbered.  One day Makino’s friend accidentally falls on F4’s leader, Tsukasa Domyoji.  Makino takes a stand for her friend and ends up getting a red card in her locker – the sign that she is under attack by the F4.  Even with the entire student body being bullying Makino she stands strong, but for how long?

Boys Over Flowers is a dramedy surrounding one girl’s battle against the school bullies.  The overarching storyline of this story is the bullying by the F4 group and how the rest of the student body reacts to their actions.  Readers are able to identify with the characters and can easily see themselves in the roles that the students’ play.  While originally written in the early 1990’s, the main story is something that teens from today can identify with.  The artwork is markedly from that era, with larger facial features, different hairstyles, and the clothing is a blast from the past for older readers.  However, even with this older style, the message is one that is still relevant – to stand up for yourself and your friends.   This slice of life story starts out strong with fleshing out the characters and creating a foundation for the overall series.  Readers will want to return to see how Makino faces down her bullies and to see where the F4 will go with what they have started.  This title is for teens and adults and does include some mild violence, adult situations, and very few instances of adult language.  

You can find Boys Over Flowers, Volume 1 by Yoko Kamio on the VBPL Catalog.  If you enjoyed Boys Over Flowers, you may want to try Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori or Peach Girl by Miwa Ueda.

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