Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Manga Review: V.B. Rose, Volume 11, by Banri Hidaka

Publisher: Tokyopop
Goodreads Synopsis:

Ageha gets the job of a lifetime - making her sister's wedding dress. Ageha loves making handbags and other accessories, so when one of her sister's dress makers hurts his hand she jumps right in to help! And thus begins Ageha's adventures at the fashionable Velvet Blue Rose.

On a whim, Ageha asks how Yukari and Mitsuya first met, leading to a heart-pounding and hilarious story! And as close as they are now, it's hard to imagine that these two friends started off on the worst possible foot. But, boy, was Yukari extra-cute back in the day. Plus, the history of Mitsuya's long relationship with Tsuyu is finally revealed...but is it too late to make amends!


I've read all of the books in this series that was released before Tokyopop closed down. I don't want to talk too much about Tokyopop closing, because I want to talk about the book. But I am still upset about it, I haven't gotten over it yet. Even if I was upset at them for some of the things that they did, I still bought several of their manga, and I followed a couple series very closely. V.B. Rose is one of them that I'd been buying since around the time that they started releasing them. The series didn't have me at the first volume; it took a couple, but once it had me, I was always super excited to get the next one. It's a very cute, funny, shojo series. And I love it.
It has my kind of humor, so that I'm always laughing at it, and I love the characters. I've read the two other series of Hidaka's that have been released over here, or at least the other two that CMX released before closing. And I liked them as well. I'm not going to go too into them either, since I might still review them, but I really liked I Hate You More Than Anyone, and am still upset at not getting to finish it. But I have high hopes for it, because we see the main characters in V.B. Rose every once in a while.
I am super bummed at not getting to finish this series, as I love it so much, and I want to know what happens so bad, and there are only a couple of books left in the series.
Anyway. In this volume, most of it is about how Yukari and Mitsuya met. They've known each other for a long time, and it was nice to finally see how they came to be so close. And it was especially funny. After reading all the books, I'm attached to the characters, and it has my type of humor, so the chapters could be about pretty much anything and I would love it.
In the beginning, Ageha asks how long they've been together, and they both protest at the way she asks. There's some bickering, and then Mitsuya tells her how they met, so it goes to a flashback. This takes up about three chapters. Yukari is very adorable as a little kid. And he's so mean to Mitsuya when he first talks to him, by ignoring him and then later hitting him. He's mean through most of it, until Mitsuya goes to the studio and sees him working, where he's loud and aggressive, which is contradictory to his delicate image. And we get to see Yukari's father, who looks like an older version of himself, and who is very fun and hyper-active, and we see more of Ririko, his step-mother.
Yukari and Mitsuya work on some dresses, and they fight and then make up, and then it's back to Ageha and Mitsuya talking in the present. I liked seeing how different they both are, how much they've grown, and especially how older, more manly, Yukari looks. Anyway, Ageha swoons over them, and then Yukari gets a bit upset that Mitsuya told her all that.
In the last two chapters, we see Tsuyu, the bead maker, and Mitsuya's background. Why they are the way they are to each other, and what happened between them. Some of it, at least.
Tsuyu and Mitsuya were close and liked each other, and were getting closer, when Tsuyu has to move in with her father. So she has to reject him, and Tsuyu feels terrible about it, and Mitsuya's still hurt from it. It's terribly upsetting, and they've never really talked about it. And the volume ends with Ageha freaking out on Mitsuya and smacking him as she tells him that Tsuyu has to go to an arranged marriage meeting, and then Mitsuya passes out because he hasn't been feeling well.
There's also a cute scene between Ageha and Yukari. Within the last couple volumes, there haven't been too many chapters for just them, which I was looking forward to seeing more of. I love them both and I love them together and I want more of them together. More swoon-worthy, cute scenes. Although Yukari can be full of swoon all on his own.
There are other characters that we didn't get to see in this volume, but that I will mention because of my lack of volumes to come. Like Mamoru, Ageha's friend, and her brother, Nat-chan, who kind of loves Ageha. And Sakura, Yukari's little brother, who looks like a little Yukari, is practically cuteness made into a little boy. And Kana-san, who is a little rough around the edges, and a little distant, but I like her nonetheless.
I love this series. I want more of this series. I miss this series, so much. This is the main series that I'm upset about after Tokyopop closed, especially because the release dates were already pretty tentative and spread out. Now I won't even be able to find out what happens next. I really want another company to pick up this series, or any of Banri Hidaka's other series'. She makes such good characters, and stories, and her artwork is so pretty. It's very elegant, gentle.
I don't know if I'm going to go back and review some of the previous volumes. Probably not, but I might review volume 12. And I will probably be reviewing some of the other series that Tokyopop left hanging, as well as some of the other companies that closed recently.

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