by Miki Aihara; adapted by Liz Forbes
published by Viz; $8.99 US
The addiction I worried about developing after reading book 1 may not be as big a problem after all, because the manic energy and emotion of that volume is missing from this one. Without her mother and her demented family situation to play off of, the story becomes just another “girl tries to become a star” tale. And it’s a darned repetitive one.
Yura has a crisis — her costume’s been damaged by a jealous co-star! her family secret is revealed! co-workers are mean to her! — and she falls to pieces, convinced she’s a failure, until one of the men in her life — her manager, or one of the twin musicians who are fascinated by her — inspires her or tells her she can do it or picks her up when she runs away.
Aihara is certainly experienced and talented at drawing a big-eyed fearful young girl. You can practically see her lip trembling as tears well in her giant eyes. It’s a shame that she doesn’t put as much effort into stronger, more proactive emotions. I at least still have hope that Yura won’t stay this way forever, since the premise of the series is that she needs to learn to be less timid and more independent as she develops her acting skills.
However, so long as a hot young star is taking her home and her manager is telling her everything to do, what does she really have to worry about? One betrays her, and another picks her up, pats her tears, and says “there, there”. They all compliment her just enough to keep her on the string… isn’t that one of the signs of an abusive relationship?
Heck, Yura even knows that about herself. Late in the book, she thinks to herself, “I’m such a pushover”, followed by her telling her manager:
I don’t care, as long as you pick me up like you did today. You can deceive all you want. And I’ll come back to you.
Yes, it’s another Aihara dishrag fixating on the wrong man. I also found it unrealistic that the storyboard for a commercial has story scenes so compelling that Yura is drawn back to work regardless of how badly she’s been treated. How long is this commercial? How complex can an ad be?
This book is due out July 7. A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.