by Miho Obana; adaptation by Sarah Dyer
published by Tokyopop; $9.99 US
Child star Sana and her former enemy Akito have become close enough friends that she depends on him when a tragic secret is revealed. It turns out that the mother who’s raised her isn’t Sana’s birth mother. Sana’s adoptive mother has written a book about the experience of finding Sana abandoned as a baby. They hope that the book will bring the birth mother forward, but in the meantime, Sana’s staying with Akito’s family to avoid the media frenzy.
Even in the middle of this upheaval, Sana maintains her cheery demeanor, almost to an unnatural degree. She leads the adults around her by example, demonstrating an odd maturity beyond her age. The contrast of her inner strength with her childish energy keeps her character interesting and prevents her wacky choices from seeming too silly.
The dramatic plot is resolved, with much heartfelt emotion, about halfway through. The rest of the book is lighter, with Sana throwing a Christmas Eve party for Akito. He worries about what gift to get her as camouflage for his growing feelings for her. The book concludes by setting up new situations for the characters. Sana and Akito start junior high, and Sana makes her first good girl friend while starting a new, challenging movie role.
Sana’s huge shining eyes demonstrate her status as the book’s lead while showing how open she is to her environment. She’s an innocent who can be shaped by everything around her, with her youth emphasized by her pigtails. Yet her emotions may reach far beyond her age. The art style is very easy to read, with basic elements of manga style included, but nothing too confusing. The wordless scenes of emotion are clear and touching. This is a good shôjo starter series that demonstrates many elements of the genre’s appeal.
I previously reviewed Book 1.