Makoto Kobayashi, Author, Dana Lewis, Translator, Toren Smith, Translator . Dark Horse $15.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-56971-915-2

Haruo Hattori has left her small farming hometown to attend college in the exciting city. She promises her boyfriend she'll remain loyal and avoid all the temptations metropolitan life might bring. Urban living is expensive, so to make ends meet, innocent and naïve Haruo takes a job at Club 9, a bar where the patrons are nothing like the good old boys she grew up with. Haruo's soon enjoying new popularity, charming loads of handsome men, living in a haunted apartment building and still trying to pass her college courses. Plus, she's getting tempted by the city's sins and finding it increasingly difficult to avoid giving in. Kobayashi has penned a funny, slice-of-life comedy. With her misunderstandings and naïveté, 18-year-old Haruo is very much like the Beverly Hillbillies' Elly May Clampett or a younger Rose Nylund from Golden Girls. Much of what goes on around her goes over her head, but that's part of the series' charm. Kobayashi's art style, while fairly exaggerated with some of the characters, is highly detailed and refined in the story's backgrounds and non-human aspects. This series' first volume, with its Coyote Ugly-esque cast, is a wild ride, but the question remains: after living in the big city, can Haruo go home again? And will she even want to? (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-56971-968-8
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