Friday, October 23, 2009

Four-Eyed Prince, vol. 1

By Wataru Mizukami
Published in the US by Del Rey

Slugline: Cruel to be kind... No, it's just cruel

Sachiko is attracted to one of the princes of her school, Akihiko. Part of her attraction is due to his stylish glasses while the rest is from his kindness to her when her father died, but when she approaches him she is rebuffed. Later that daySachiko has to move in with her mother, meeting her for the first time but making her day a complete nightmare Akihiko is her mother's stepson (no blood relation of course) and that they will be living together. Akihiko tries to ditch her, but she discovers that he works as bartender to get extra money, but protects his identity by going by a different name and without wearing his glasses. Since girls seem to want him irrespective of name or appearance, he has a poor opinion of them and of love in general. That makes him the target ofSachiko's desperate romantic assaults for the rest of the volume, while which he claims to be softening his positions but his actions would drive away all but the most lovelorn teen girl. Which, fortunately for him and the story, Sachiko is.

This is another entry in the "What do they think a relationship is?" sweepstakes. Akihiko pulls a stunt halfway through the volume, to 'help' another couple, that shows how little respect and empathy he has for Sachiko. Everything after that scene basically made me wonder why Sachiko was sticking around despite the offers of a full mountain spa vacation. While Akihiko is not a 'bad boy' in the traditional sense, Sachiko reacts as if he is, as she tries to 'change him.' That is something that only works in cookie cutter made romance novels.

Four-Eyed Prince, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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