The Day I Became a Butterfly

Yumeka Sumomo, Author, Yumeka Sumomo, Illustrator . Digital Manga $12.95 (150p) ISBN 978-1-56970-869-9

Sumomo follows her yaoi hit Same Cell Organism with a collection of short pieces that run the gamut of teenaged romance manga from yaoi to yuri, and even includes a piece or two featuring heterosexual teenagers. Panel by panel, Sumomo's art can be compelling. She excels at closeups, drawing expressive faces that make quiet moments between characters especially effective. Unfortunately, her storytelling skills are nowhere near as strong. Characters appear and disappear at whim, and the staging and writing are often awkward. In the title piece, a boy who thinks he may be dying gets involved with a boy who may or may not be able to "hear" when a person will die. The premise is interesting, but gets lost in the "he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not" mooning that follows. Nor is that story helped by the fact that one of the two male protagonists not only looks like a teenaged girl, but dresses like one as well. Sumomo's other stories are equally unsatisfying. While the art is pretty, the confused storytelling means that this collection will likely appeal to yaoi completists but few others. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/05/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
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