Comics / Manga

The Wallflower: Volume 8

By Julie Gray
Jul 21, 2006 - 5:37


The Wallflower Volume Eight Cover


”As usual, it seemed he was about to wake up to an early morning phone call from a female admirer”


The above quote sums up the background of this manga title extremely well. Shojo titles (manga books for young teenage girls) are truly an acquired taste. Although vastly popular throughout the world (not only in Japan), Shojo titles tend to focus on romance and ‘Bishonen’ or ‘Beautiful Boys’ and the objects of their affection. At the same time, this story has a unique twist in the shape of Sunako, a goth loner who just happens to be living with four of the cutest guys in Japan. 


The Wallflower: Volume 8 is the story of four bishonen and one goth-loner girl named Sunako. It follows the lives of all five of these characters with a particular interest in the romantic endeavours of the boys and Sunako’s fetish with the undead and all things dark and macabre. This manga is a little twisted in places and a little confusing in others but certainly entertaining.


In some areas the storyline itself was a little difficult to follow. This is due to the fact that it tends to jump from one character to another without little warning so it pays to read this manga when you are alert. As for the flow of the story, the manga is separated into chapters and this helps with the different mini story arcs throughout the book.


Some of the storyboards are quite humorous and the mixture of romance with the macabre is enjoyable to read. The teenage humour and ‘tongue-in-cheek’ approach to some rather sensitive, emotional topics such as ill-requited love is masterfully written. Tomoko Hayakawa definitely has a great ability to mix all of these elements into an entertaining if not somewhat confusing tale.


The characters in The Wallflower are interesting in the sense that you want to know what happens as the story progresses. There are several character storylines in this manga which, again, can lead to a little confusion for the reader trying to follow each character and how they develop through the story. Sunako's character is considered the main character in the story and perhaps a manga alter-ego of the author, perhaps.


The artwork in this manga is drawn with an extremely delicate hand. The lines around the characters’ faces are extremely fine and this accentuates the subtle beauty of the characters in Tomoko’s story. Although all of the boys in this manga tend to look more like young girls than boys (which is why they are called ‘beautiful boys’), the subtleness in each drawing is enough to be distinctive. In contrast to this, Sunako is drawn in a completely different manner which you will notice quite easily.


There are also a few intervals in the book where Tomoko gets to write to the readers all about her life and aspects of what she does when she’s writing her manga. For manga fans, it’s probably a nice and rare insight into the life of a teenage manga star.


This is an enjoyable book and would be an entertaining read for fans of the Shojo genre. In particular, any fans that enjoy humour and romance with a hint of the macabre will certainly want this as part of their manga collection. The manga book also includes extensive translation notes and a preview of the original Japanese version of The Wallflower Volume 9.


Art Work: 9/10

Story: 7/10

Overall Rating: 8/10


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Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 - 9:28

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