Friday, December 29, 2006

Pearl Pink, v. 1

Created by Meca Tanaka
Published in the U.S. by TokyoPop

Slugline: A tomboy in love that remains a tomboy by the end of the volume?
Miracle of miracles!

Ah, the stories of young love, people promising to get married when they are 3 and 7. Do you actually remember much of what happened to you when you were that age? I admit, I am older than the typical age of the characters in these sort of books, so technically have more stuff to remember and some of the early stuff may have been misfiled, but really, how strong are your memories from that age? I only have a handful, and most of them are random bits. Only a couple of them are confirmably real and not imaginings.

But these sort of life-changing promises are routinely made, and worse yet,
routinely remembered in manga and are expected to be honored. Tamako, the tomboy of the slugline, received a promise from Kanji that if she was strong, he would marry her. (Why is it that the girls remember these promises in manga, but rarely the guys?) She defined the strength as physical, assertive strength, while he is strong in a quiet, understated way. (See, females and males can both be strong in manga AT THE SAME TIME!)

When the story actually talks about love, relationships, and knowing/liking
each other, that rings mostly true. And Tamako has several really good moments with her mother. But then you add in the fact this is set at the ever-popular idol agency, the rampant and actually detracting silliness of the story/characters at times, and could have been a very good romantic story has been reduced to merely average.

- Ferdinand

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