Punch Vol. 1

Rie Takada, Author, Rie Takada, Illustrator . Viz $8.99 (191p) ISBN 978-1-4215-0874-0

Fifteen-year-old Elle Nagahara just wants a little romance. But she has been betrothed to Ruo Eschuck since she was born—even her middle name, Eru, means "Love Ruo." Her grandfather, who now runs a dojo, and Ruo's grandfather were opponents in the ring and promised that their children would marry each other. And so Elle's life is confined to her duties at the dojo and her fiancé, whom she views with only sisterly affection. Each one of her attempts at finding another love fails when Ruo threatens to beat the snot out of the would-be boyfriend. When she runs into Kizuki Shindo, a beautiful loner who brawls and always wins, she stumbles on a scheme to finally break it off with Ruo. If she makes Ruo think she's in love with Kizuki, he might be the one boyfriend who can prevail in the battlefield of love. Elle is a likable if ditzy heroine whose problems come more from her own dithering than the interference of Ruo and her grandfather. Though this shojo manga is set in a martial arts dojo, far more pages are devoted to romantic ponderings than fights. But Takada throws in enough cute girl art to make this an enjoyable bit of fluff. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/09/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
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