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Papillon 1 Paperback – October 14, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Ueda is the author of Peach Girl, and the lovely figures and flowing lines of that shojo manga are on display here as well. Like that series, this story is about mistaken perceptions and competition. Twin girls were raised apart; now that they're reunited in high school, one is pretty, popular and outgoing, while the other is shy and plain. The title refers to the shy twin's wish to blossom from her cocoon like a butterfly. There might be deep psychological and/or cultural implications to be drawn from the concept that one twin sister could be gorgeous while the other isn't, but here, it's a twist on the Cinderella story, living proof that the shy girl will be able to become more than she is with effort, spiced up with the idea that behavior creates attractiveness. The one's got a crush on a schoolmate, a childhood friend who grew up handsome. A mysterious stranger tells her she can create that reality if she believes hard enough... and then the real story begins. No one here is exactly what they seem, providing welcome depth to an involving teen drama. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—Ueda, best known for her prolific "Peach Girl" books (Tokyopop), returns with a new series filled with beautiful girls, beautiful boys, and butterflylike transformations. Ageha resents her twin sister, Hana, for being more popular and attractive than she is, although readers will quickly deduce that their differences really boil down to attitude. The book has several well-developed supporting characters, including Ageha's childhood friend Ryusei, who is now a teen dreamboat, and school guidance counselor Kyu, who believes in the power of positive thinking. He encourages Ageha to reconnect with Ryusei, but soon after she does so and romances start to bloom, Hana makes the ultimate low-down dirty move of stealing Ryusei for herself. Ageha's sorrow is somewhat mollified by Kyu's support, although his friendliness is actually flirtatious and crosses the line of appropriate interaction between a guidance counselor and a student. Ageha continues to pine after Ryusei and makes a concerted effort to win him back. This roller coaster of a romance is beautiful to look at; Ueda's artwork skillfully captures the expressions of love and heartache. The romantic cliff-hanger at the end will definitely make readers stay tuned for more drama in volume 2.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
I never read Peach Girl, although I did watch the anime, years ago. I didn't even know that this was by the same author until I started reading it. I've thought about reading Peach Girl (should I?), but the art just doesn't look pretty enough. It looks better in this one, though. The story line doesn't look much better though.
It's about Ageha, the 'ugly' older twin sister of Hana. Ageha wears glasses and has acne (even though, I swear, I thought she had freckles until they said that it was acne. And the fact that it was acne and not freckles, even if it didn't look particularly flattering, bothers me. There is nothing wrong with freckles, and that's what it looked like), and doesn't wear skirts and low cut tops, and has pigtails. And image matters a lot to her. Hana is pretty and has been with so many guys and flirts with them all. Ageha grew up in the country with her grandmother and Hana grew up with their parents in the city, and I guess this is a good enough reason for why they are so different. (It's not, really.)
Anyway, Ageha likes Ryusei, a boy she grew up with. She's too shy and embarrassed to say anything to him, and when she gets advice from this boy, Hayato, who turns out to be the school's new student guidance counselor, she decides to try to get closer to him. This works somewhat, until Hana decides to steal him away from her. She crashes this 'date' type of thing they're doing, dressed like Ageha only with more showing, and she's hanging all over them. And then in the middle of this, her newly ex-boyfriend shows up and hits her but then feels bad after she talks some and says something sweet. This was kind of stupid, and very ridiculous, and I don't believe any of it. And then this picture of Ageha and Ryusei that has been written on (by Hayato, not Ageha, which apparently doesn't matter) gets out and she runs away all embarrassed. A supposed friend of hers found it and showed it off, betraying her (or whatever). Ryusei turns her down, but he feels bad about it. Although, really, his feelings changed really fast about Hana, since he went from being wary of her and not having an interest in going out with her. And then in the next chapter, after she has come back to class with her head held high, not showing any embarrassment, and almost immediately makes friends. This also seems unrealistic. But her friends are nice and help her, which is good for her, I guess. And they encourage her to go after Ryusei, which she does. And she ends up setting up another thing with him, but Hana crashes it by calling him away, and then faking crying before laughing it off, and Ageha is talking with Hayato while waiting for him (even though they're walking, which I don't understand. Ryusei is late, yea, but she was waiting, and then started following Hayato to talk to him. This doesn't really fit,) when she sees them together as they kiss for the first time, I'm assuming. And then it ends with Ageha staring at them, wide eyed.
Honestly, this is kind of terrible. Ageha is whiny and wimpy and only cares about what people think, and Hana is terrible and tries stealing everything from her sister, who, supposedly, can't really compare. Hayato I like, as he is fun and interesting and older (which is also almost always fun). And then Ageha had a crappy friend who turned on her at any possible moment. Several of these things remind me of Peach Girl, but since I have only watched the anime, tell me if I'm wrong. But even though this is a terrible book, with very few redeeming qualities, I'm a little excited to read the next one. This might be since I already have it, but I do tend to like the dramas that are a bit more mature, even though this one isn't very mature, and the main character is pretty much all of the things that I dislike. Either way, the review of volume 2 will probably be up soon.
Oh, also. This was originally published by Del Rey, and, unless I'm mistaken, there are only two volumes left. Does anyone know if Kodansha is continuing it? I was assuming they were, and maybe I'm wrong and volumes 5&6 was published by Kodansha, but I don't think it was. So, are they? I hope they do, if only so I can complete the series.
Ageha feels she will never escape her twin's shadow. Even though she and her identical sister, Hana, share the same basic looks, Hana is the school's social butterfly, adored by all who see her, while Ageha fades into the shadows. The two were raised apart, one in the countryside and one in Tokyo, and in a question of nature versus nurture, they could not be more different. Hana inspires her sister at the same time as she sets a seemingly impossible standard--how can Ageha compete with a girl whose glamour is so enchanting? Hana, even if she is dazzling, is not an angel--she seems to thrive by outshining Ageha, and she relishes keeping Ageha in her place. Ageha, despite years of being a willing pawn in Hana's little game, is beginning to think that it's time to get a bit of the spotlight herself.
Ageha has one secret she hides from Hana--her crush on her childhood friend Ryusei, a boy she adventured with during her life in the countryside as a tomboy when she was more worried about how to catch bugs than what a boy might think of her. Now that she's found him again in high school, and he doesn't connect this wallflower with the partner in crime of his summer vacations, she's trying to figure out how to confess her feelings in just the right way. Enter Ichijiku, the oddball guidance counselor who, through various tricks and machinations, pushes Ageha to speak up before she loses her opportunity. His advice is sound, if presented in quirky ways, but through a series of misunderstandings and tricks, the worst happens: Ageha's crush is announced to the entire school, including Ryusei, and she wants nothing more than to hide in her room for the rest of high school. She screws up her strength and faces her embarrassment head on, but what can she do when Hana decides that Ageha's favorite is just the type of guy she's looking for?
Ageha works for every teen who's been outdone by a sibling and every girl who's felt crushed by someone else's obvious beauty. There's a resignation that threatens to take over Ageha's attitude, that she's not worthy of much, and this first volume already has you wishing you could shake some sense into her--happily, Ichijiku is there to do it for you.
Miwa Ueda's Peach Girl is one of the first manga I ever read, and her style is over-the-top shojo, full of dewy, giant eyes, bursts of flowers, and dreamy guys. I admit, when I first attempted to read manga, Peach Girl is one of the titles I was a bit scared to open. Then Ueda sucks you in with expertly timed melodrama, and you just give up and read as many volumes as possible in one sitting to see what's going to happen next. She knows her audience, and while she does trade in highs and lows of teenagers' emotional lives, she also knows to keep just enough realism in there to make you care about her characters. A lot of the issues raised here are topics she covered in Peach Girl, but teens may not know the earlier series, and Del Rey has, as always, put together an above-standard volume.
-- Robin Brenner
By the way, Papillion is french for Butterfly and Miwa Ueda is the author of Peach Girl.
The characters in this are very likable and the heroine is easy to relate to if you're a shy or mousy person. Or just anyone who's had unrequited love. Ageha's attitude and confidence changes through a smooth transaction which is nice for a debut volume. Although it moves kinda slow and nothing big happens, the characters deliver it well.
Overall, it's a quick read. Not too deep, but easy to follow and enjoy. The art isn't exactly pretty, but its simplistic and fitting for the story. Its the kind of art that has a beautiful cover image and illustrations, but the comic art isn't as stunning. If you're looking for a new shojo series, I'd recommend this.