Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Manga Review: Kamikaze Girls by Yukio Kanesada and Novala Takemoto

Rating (Out of 5): ~2 (~2.5, maybe)
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 1
Spoilers?: Yes

VIZ Media Synopsis:

Momoko is a Lolita stranded in the boondocks of rural Ibaraki prefecture, although she'd much rather be living in the Palace of Versailles. Ichigo is an impulsive member of a girls-only biker gang who firmly believes in honor, loyalty, and fist fighting. Together this unlikeliest of duos strikes out on a journey to find a legendary embroiderer who might just be able to make their dreams come true.

Inspired by the cult-classic novel by the same name, this exclusive manga edition of Novala Takemoto's Kamikaze Girls contains several brand new stories, including a continuation of Momoko and Ichigo's misadventures that was approved by the author himself!


I believe I have stated this before, but I love VIZ Media. More specifically, Shojo Beat. They are, by far, my favorite manga provider. I have read most of their releases, save for, probably, a handful, and you could probably see that I’ve reviewed more of their books than any other companies.
I realized, somewhat recently, that I’d missed some of their older one-shots. At the time, I guess I just had little interest in them, and then had mostly forgotten about them. Upon seeing this volume at the bookstore, though, I decided to pick it up. And was a bit disappointed.
The main reason I hadn’t picked this one up before, I think, was because of the artwork. I’m usually very picky about this; if I don’t like the art, I don’t want to read it. For this one, I thought, I’ll give it a try anyway; it’s only one book.
The art style didn’t really get any better. It wasn’t bad, and I guess I kind of got used to it, but it was definitely not my favorite.
The storyline I also didn’t particularly care for. The main storyline, two chapters, was about Momoko, a Lolita girl, who decides to help Ichigo, a yanki girl, find this certain store. On the way, they go to this Lolita store, where Momoko drags Ichigo into helping the owner with this modeling thing. And then in the second chapter, Ichigo has to face this crush she has on a boy that’s marrying a friend of hers, while forming a relationship with the boy’s brother.
None of this sounds too bad, but the whole thing just jumped much too quickly. Their friendship formed at a reasonable pace, and I can look past the two girls helping with the modeling thing because, even if it annoys me, it’s a typical thing to happen. But the love thing I did not like.
Momoko has reason to like the guy who owns the Lolita shop, but that didn’t really seem to go anywhere; at least, it didn’t show us if it did. But Ichigo fell in love with this yanki guy upon first sight and after having a very tiny conversation, in what was the most unbelievable bout of insta-love I have ever seen. And of course Momoko can tell, and then Ichigo has a hard time getting over it when she finds out that he’s marrying her yanki friend, a girl who she looks up to. And then she starts getting close with the guys brother, and I didn’t really believe their relationship either.
The general plot didn’t bother me, and it could have been good, but it just wasn’t done very well.
After that, there was another short story, one chapter plus a tiny extra. I had hoped it would be better, but it really wasn’t.
Titled Koyubi Hime (The Pinky-Ring Princess), it’s about a high school girl who ends up forcing this older guy into a date with her, and then falls for him. My biggest problem with this, is how the girl forced the date. She kept something of his to force him into it, claiming to want to be an adult, act like an adult, be treated like an adult, when she was obviously very childish. And then her ending resolution on that just didn’t fit or resolve anything on that matter. Not for me, at least.
At first it bothered me that he’d agreed to the date, and did some stuff with her, when he was supposed to be married, and why she would do this with a married man. But then it turns out he’s actually divorced, which I’d expected, and then that makes me wonder why he agreed to go out with this high school girl when he didn't care about the ring. It was just… dumb. It was all just dumb and I didn’t enjoy it.
The extra story, only a few pages long, was about their relationship later, and it was rather cute. It was probably my favorite part of the book. Didn’t really make up for the rest of it, but, you know, was still pretty good.
I probably wouldn't read another of Kanesada's works, and don't really have much interest in the novel this was based on, even though I'm sure it's better. I do plan on getting another of Shojo Beat's one-shots if I find one like I did this one, though.

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