Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Friday, January 28, 2005

Manga Mania 

Peach Fuzz Vol. 1 by Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges: This original series from Tokyopop focuses on the efforts of Amanda to bond with her new pet ferret Peach. Unfortunately, Peach has a bit of a princess complex and perceives Amanda as a ravening monster wishing only to torture her. And so she bites...and if Amanda's mother finds out about that Peach is going to be taken back to the pet store. Amanda must teach Peach not to bite, and Peach must learn to get along with Amanda.

The art on this series is very nice. It's detailed while retaining an appealing cartoon style. The story is very slow-paced, however, and it tends to drag on a bit in spots. But it's a very cute story with charming art-work and it should have a strong appeal for younger readers, especially children fond of animals.

The Wallflower Vol. 1 by Tomoko Hayakawa: I was somewhat reluctant to give this series a chance, as the premise, four good-looking popular boys try to transform a shy goth girl into a proper young lady, suggested to me that the story would veer into shallow and superficial territory. A story in which girls are encouraged to try to be pretty and meet social expectations is one that I had no interest in reading. I needn't have worried. Sunako, the "wallflower" has such glee in being a fashion-disaster and horror movie buff it actually becomes fun to root for her in her efforts to resist the ministrations of the four boys (who are drawn so similarly and have such thin personalities the only way to tell them apart is by their hair-styles). Hayakawa frequently draws Sunako in a cute, super-deformed style, further contrasting her with the sea of nearly identical pretty people around her. Even when she is forced by circumstance to adopt the guise of a pretty person, she retains a darkly gothic charm.

Tuxedo Gin Vol. 9 by Tokihiko Matsuura: Further complications abound in this most recent volume. Gin must not only help another reincarnated spirit, but he must persuade his last opponent to give up boxing and insure that Minako doesn't give up waiting for him to return. The overall story continues to focus on Ginji learning the lessons as a penguin that he should have learned as a man. As a penguin he's more noble, caring and attentive to the needs of others than he ever was as a human. And Matsuura's art is very cute and fun.

Fruits Basket Vol. 6 by Natsuki Takaya: No new members of the zodiac are introduced in this volume, but the relationships between the characters are explored in more depth, and a terrible secret about Kyo-Kun, the Sohma family member cursed by the cat spirit is revealed. The thing I like most about this series, in addition to the very pretty and expressive art-work, is the gentle humor and emphasis on the emotional growth and depth of the characters, particularly in the maturing of Tohru as she continues to open herself up to the Sohma's and think of them as her family.


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