Thursday, January 10, 2008

V.B. Rose, vol. 1

By Banri Hidaka
Released in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: I suspect I would find this title much more affecting if I wasn't cursed with the Y chromosome.

We have reviewed two other works by Banri Hidaka
I Hate You More Than Anyone, and Tears of the Lamb.

Ageha is disheartened when her sister Hibari announces that she is pregnant and thus getting married. Not that Hibari wasn't planning on getting married, but this is moved up her plans. Ageha has an idealized view of Hibari which cannot reconcile itself with this. Not even her hobby of making handbags tempers her disappointment, but it is her handbags that draws the attention of a pair of professional designers. Who of course happen to be Hibari's wedding dress designers. In the midst of a disagreement over Ageha's belligerence of Hibari's wedding lone of the two guys' (who of course are stunningly attractive) hand is injured, leaving Ageha to volunteer to work in their shop to make up for it. In working on the dress Ageha comes to terms with her sister's marriage and goes one step beyond, impressing the shop owners.

This a competently done title about a subject that just doesn't move me. I like some of the character bits and sparse yet powerful art lines that convey the grace and beauty that is necessary for a title about fashion to be convincing, but the actual topic of the story itself is only ho-hum. As an aside, I am wondering when someone is going to write about someone who loathes and despises their older sibling and works to undercut them at all costs? Sorry, I have seen more dysfunctional or at least tense sibling relationships than adoring ones. As for the story, I want to see what happens after the sister's wedding, because that will be the real meat of the series, trying to figure out what happens after the tension of the wedding no longer to drives things. Maybe someone who loves weddings, cuteness and the sense of elegance around the dresses would rate this title higher than I do, but like the slugline said, my Y chromosome is a curse in this case.

And if you have no idea what I mean by Y chromosome, remember your basic biology and which gender solely has the Y chromosome...

V.B. Rose, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and



Anonymous said...

Heh heh! I wasn't all that interested in V.B Rose either, and I'm a girl. Even keeping up with the Japanese releases became boring. It was the art that really didn't do it for's pretty, yes, but it's a total bummer when the main man looks like a girl (totally).

Prospero's Manga said...

I'm glad that it isn't just me, every now and then when I read shoujo I am just left thinking I am just missing something. But Banri seems to be fairly popular...