Comics / Manga

Papillon: Volume 1

By Leroy Douresseaux
October 8, 2008 - 13:34

The cover image for Papillon #1

Rating “T” for “Ages 13+”

Ageha Mizuki is an outcast at Meiyû High School.  While Ageha was becoming a shy tomboy, her twin sister, Hana, was on her way to becoming the ultra-glam, ultimate teen queen that she is now.  When a childhood friend, Ryûsei Koike, turns out to also be a student at Meiyû High, Ageha hopes to rekindle a friendship that will eventually become something more, but she’s in for a rude, hurtful surprise.  Perhaps, an impish high school guidance counselor can change things around for Ageha.

THE LOWDOWN:  The title, Papillon, is a French word for butterfly, and watching Ageha’s sometimes captivating, sometimes painful transformation from her chrysalis is as beautiful as a butterfly.  In Papillon, Vol. 1, creator Miwa Ueda (Peach Girl) takes her readers to the heart of the awkwardness of young love, sibling rivalry, and high school politics.  The story does have its soapy elements, but there is some real gravitas here in terms of the characters’ actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions.  When Ageha is betrayed, her pain feels so real because Ueda has a way of connecting the reader’s heart to her lead character.

Ueda’s drawing style – a sharp, clean line – is beautiful in a way that is befitting of shoujo romance.  It also serves to create the kind of facial expressions and body language suitable for an edgy teen, more so than for a teen romance.

POSSIBLE AUDIENCE:  The “Young Adult” audience that may not be ready for Nana might be drawn to this surprisingly spicy high school drama.



Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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