V.B. Rose: Volume 1

Banri Hidaka, Author Tokyopop $9.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4278-0330-6

High school student Ageha Shiroi injures a young male dressmaker commissioned to build her pregnant older sister’s wedding dress in this manga about a wedding and romance. Following the accident, Ageha volunteers to help out at the boutique to finish the dress, employing her skills as a hobbyist handbag creator. Although Ageha is well characterized as a selfish teenager, 23-year-old male dressmakers Yukari and Mitsu are unrealistically cute blond and brunette manga stereotypes. Romance between Ageha and Yukari takes a backseat to the loving portrayal of Ageha’s relationship with her sister and bride-to-be Hibari. Although characters, dresses and handmade purses are well rendered, backgrounds and establishing shots are often sketchy or missing, making the first half of the book somewhat hard to follow. Ageha and Hibari have realistic character designs, but Yukari and Mitsu have unusually large eyes for young men and look almost identical to Hidaka’s characters in Tears of a Lamb , a manga CMX is publishing in English. Ageha’s deadline-related stress lends an element of suspense to an otherwise girly story; the poignant and emotional portrayal of a sibling’s wedding is an appealing story suitable for most readers, but boys might have a hard time identifying with any of the characters. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2008
Release date: 01/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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