Manga Review: The Wallflower

The Wallflower by Tomoko Hayakawa
Series:The Wallflower #1
Release Date: Aug. 2012 
Publisher: Kodansha America, Incorporated
Pages: 224 

MAKEOVER OF THE CENTURY It’s a gorgeous, spacious mansion, and four handsome, fifteen-year-old friends are allowed to live in it for free! There’s only one condition-that within three years the guys must transform the owner’s wallflower niece into a lady befitting the palace in which they all live! How hard can it be? Enter Sunako Nakahara, the agoraphobic, horror-movie-loving, pockmark-faced, frizzy-haired, fashion-illiterate recluse who tends to break into explosive nosebleeds whenever she sees anyone attractive. This project is going to take more than our four heroes ever expected: it needs a miracle! This volume of The Wallflower includes special extras after the story!

This one ended up being an epic fail for me for several reasons. In fact, I barely made it through volume one. I have been told it gets better, but after the first volume I have no desire to go on.

The first thing that gave me the hardest time was the artwork. Most of the time I can look past drawing. After all, I’m not expecting acts of genius from mangas, but this one just really bugged me for some reason. I think it was the lips. I felt like ever character had these Botox-injection huge lips. And then there were times when it looked like a bunch of clowns had walked into the storyline. I kid you not. My teens and I joked about it at Anime Club last week. I mean I know it’s not supposed to be a serious manga, but a lynch mob of clowns just kind of freaks me out.

Also, the whole “ugly girls make me sick” made me want to SCREAM. If it was just the guy who broke her heart who had said it, I could have let it pass. However, on several occasions the main characters say it as well. I don’t care if you are model-gorgeous teenage boys, saying something like that is extremely shallow. Yes, I know it plays into the ugly duckling into swan thing, but I don’t know it really hit a nerve with me. The only redeeming quality is they do seem to start to care for Sunako in their own weird way. Also, there is a mention that it’s her negativity that makes her ugly and not she herself her is ugly. I did like that the other three boys almost killed the one who used the ugly word with her.

While there was a lot I didn’t like, I did like the brief moments where Sunako went into kick butt moments. She took on this fierce role where she became unstoppable. It was quite enjoyable to see her enter those modes. Unfortunately, it is just not enough to make me pick up volume 2 and continue the series.

Have you read The Wallflowers? Am I truly giving up too soon?

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