Thursday, June 04, 2009

Orange Planet, vol. 1

By Haruka Fukushima
Published in the US by Del Rey

Slugline: One of each shojo cliche

Rui has boy problems that many girls in junior high would love to have. There is the neighbor boy who has long liked her, the school's hottest boy who is returning her interest and a playboy student teacher that has invited himself to live in Rui's apartment. Rui is pushed and pulled between the boys and the young man through humorous and embarrassing situations. But Rui's childhood memory of a boy who comforted her after the death of her parents continues to haunt her.

Gah. This has all of the annoying shojo cliches concerning potential boyfriends wrapped together into a single manga. Childhood loves, lack of parents or any adult supervision and college students being friendly with junior high girls does not improve the final result. I like the fact that Rui is human enough to try weasel the answers for an exam from her live-in teacher, but other than that she acts like one of the saints that only exist in manga, setting completely unrealistic expectations of behavior for girls. Technically, the work is fine and the story holds together (such as it is) but it just jams together too many of the shojo cliches to put up with.

Orange Planet, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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