Monday, December 12, 2011

Manga Review: Papillon, Volume 1, by Miwa Ueda

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 3
Publisher: Del Rey

Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s no fun being a high school outcast. It’s even harder when your twin sister is the most popular girl in school! The ultra-glam Hana is the ultimate teen queen, but her sister, Ageha, is just a shy tomboy. Hana loves being the center of attention so much that she’ll do anything to keep her sister in her shadow. But Ageha has a plan that will change her life. Because no one, not even Hana, can hold Ageha back forever. . . .


I never read Peach Girl, although I did watch the anime, years ago. I didn't even know that this was by the same author until I started reading it. I've thought about reading Peach Girl (should I?), but the art just doesn't look pretty enough. It looks better in this one, though. The story line doesn't look much better though.
It's about Ageha, the 'ugly' older twin sister of Hana. Ageha wears glasses and has acne (even though, I swear, I thought she had freckles until they said that it was acne. And the fact that it was acne and not freckles, even if it didn't look particularly flattering, bothers me. There is nothing wrong with freckles, and that's what it looked like), and doesn't wear skirts and low cut tops, and has pigtails. And image matters a lot to her. Hana is pretty and has been with so many guys and flirts with them all. Ageha grew up in the country with her grandmother and Hana grew up with their parents in the city, and I guess this is a good enough reason for why they are so different. (It's not, really.)
Anyway, Ageha likes Ryusei, a boy she grew up with. She's too shy and embarrassed to say anything to him, and when she gets advice from this boy, Hayato, who turns out to be the school's new student guidance counselor, she decides to try to get closer to him. This works somewhat, until Hana decides to steal him away from her. She crashes this 'date' type of thing they're doing, dressed like Ageha only with more showing, and she's hanging all over them. And then in the middle of this, her newly ex-boyfriend shows up and hits her but then feels bad after she talks some and says something sweet. This was kind of stupid, and very ridiculous, and I don't believe any of it. And then this picture of Ageha and Ryusei that has been written on (by Hayato, not Ageha, which apparently doesn't matter) gets out and she runs away all embarrassed. A supposed friend of hers found it and showed it off, betraying her (or whatever). Ryusei turns her down, but he feels bad about it. Although, really, his feelings changed really fast about Hana, since he went from being wary of her and not having an interest in going out with her. And then in the next chapter, after she has come back to class with her head held high, not showing any embarrassment, and almost immediately makes friends. This also seems unrealistic. But her friends are nice and help her, which is good for her, I guess. And they encourage her to go after Ryusei, which she does. And she ends up setting up another thing with him, but Hana crashes it by calling him away, and then faking crying before laughing it off, and Ageha is talking with Hayato while waiting for him (even though they're walking, which I don't understand. Ryusei is late, yea, but she was waiting, and then started following Hayato to talk to him. This doesn't really fit,) when she sees them together as they kiss for the first time, I'm assuming. And then it ends with Ageha staring at them, wide eyed.
Honestly, this is kind of terrible. Ageha is whiny and wimpy and only cares about what people think, and Hana is terrible and tries stealing everything from her sister, who, supposedly, can't really compare. Hayato I like, as he is fun and interesting and older (which is also almost always fun). And then Ageha had a crappy friend who turned on her at any possible moment. Several of these things remind me of Peach Girl, but since I have only watched the anime, tell me if I'm wrong. But even though this is a terrible book, with very few redeeming qualities, I'm a little excited to read the next one. This might be since I already have it, but I do tend to like the dramas that are a bit more mature, even though this one isn't very mature, and the main character is pretty much all of the things that I dislike. Either way, the review of volume 2 will probably be up soon.
Oh, also. This was originally published by Del Rey, and, unless I'm mistaken, there are only two volumes left. Does anyone know if Kodansha is continuing it? I was assuming they were, and maybe I'm wrong and volumes 5&6 was published by Kodansha, but I don't think it was. So, are they? I hope they do, if only so I can complete the series.

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