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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Peach Girl: Sae's Story Vol. 1 by Ueda Miwa 
29th-Oct-2007 03:58 am
bearded collie
Ueda, Miwa. Peach Girl: Sae's Story. Vol. 1. Trans. Ray Yoshimoto and Jodi Bryson. Los Angeles: TOKYOPOP, 2006.
          Summary: Originally titled Ura Peach Girl. Sae has been held back a year in high school, but that's not stopping her from hanging out at the university with Momo and Kiley. Now a boy from her past who remembers her when she was shy and weak named Kanji is determined to win her over again. Will lying in order to become a model again solve her problems and get rid of Kanji?
          Comments: Peach Girl is one of those super-fun series that I never in a million years would have ever picked up in Japanese on my own. As such, the publisher formerly known as Mixx Entertainment takes full credit (or blame!) for my sporadic exposure to the series since it was first released in the US in Smile. So many years (Nearly a decade... *self-conscious gasp* I feel old...) have passed since then, however, that I don't remember many of the manga's finer plot points; I don't even remember, in fact, if I ever actually read it to completion! (Premature senility. I just know it.)
          It was with a certain amount of trepidation, therefore, that I picked up this sequel starring Sae, the narcissistic antagonist of the first series (and, all things considered, the best thing it had going for it). I am delighted to report that I was not disappointed. Ueda has not, at least at the starting line, lost her edge, and she mixes comedy and (melo)drama with a veteran mangaka's effortless finesse. Her artwork has gotten better over the years--for example, the action scenes, such as they are, are remarkably good for a romantic shoujo title. I was half irritated, half grateful that she recapped the original Peach Girl plot at the end of the book; even though I couldn't remember it, it wasn't really necessary to know any of it in order to enjoy this new story. Worth continuing for now. We'll see how quickly I tire.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Kodansha in 2005
          Rating: 6/10 - A fun, well-rounded story that plays off of that eternally popular manga trope: Teenaged Insecurity.
29th-Oct-2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
Smile was a decade ago? I'm feeling old, too...
29th-Oct-2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
Mixx began SMILE in late 1998. >_< Yep, nearly a decade...
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