cover image MISS ME


Tomoko Taniguchi, . . CPM Manga, $9.99 (179pp) ISBN 978-1-58664-905-0

A classic love triangle with a musical setting propels this standard high school romance. Emyu pays a lot of attention to fashion in order to stand out from the crowd. Although her clothes make other girls think she's sophisticated and experienced, she's never had a date. She's waiting for her dream guy to notice her, and imagines them picking flowers together. This light and fluffy desire reflects the story's romantic level. Emyu's crush, Shinkichi, is a boy in her class, and he's always napping, due to his late nights playing in a band. When one of Emyu's brother's classmates starts paying attention to Emyu, though, she has to choose whether to stay with him or keep pursuing Shinkichi. As is typical of the nice-girl heroines of romance manga, it's either feast or famine, and once the boys notice Emyu, so do the jealous girls. Her friends, though, are surprisingly supportive and smart about how to keep things in perspective, encouraging her to be more assertive instead of waiting for things to happen. With the emphasis on fashion as characterization, the '80s-influenced hairstyles and clothes give away the story's dated nature (it was published in Japan in 1991). And the band memberships and the girls' interest in fashion are just trappings, not really significant to the story. Taniguchi draws in the traditional shoujo (girl's manga) look: huge eyes, flowing hair, shy postures and lots of facial close-ups. (Jan.)