I know I said in an older review that it wasn’t until Masao beat some better-looking guys in a contest that I started liking the series. It is true that the series is at its best when it’s being nice to Masao, and this volume isn’t particularly nice to him. But this volume I think is really where the series finds itself, because it’s really damn funny.
“You’ll have to excuse me.”
There’s love holes and fake sex and bondage and piercings and plenty of Sakura and Komatsu conversation, there’s lessons and Devil Sisters and dirty jokes, and Yamada getting better looking… this volume is GREAT. It has everything. Apparently God likes to watch, too. This series is at its best when it’s making silly dirty jokes and giving in to lots of sex and akward situations, and that’s all this volume is. It may be cruel to Komatsu… but it does it in the funniest way possible. It knows what’s funny too, and alludes to probably one of the best jokes in the series several times throughout the volume. It just really is great.
I went back through and decided to re-read this series since the end had me kinda confused… “Love at first sight?” Wasn’t that Noriko? And what about that hooker-girl that randomly appeared? Who is she?
I was absolutely shocked, the artwork is incredibly different. It gets a lot better as the series progresses, believe it or not. And this volume isn’t that good. It had its good points, but I think the only reason I went on to volume two is because I’ve deluded myself into being a Moyoko Anno fangirl. Her stuff always turns out rewarding, and I do like it, I think it’s a breath of fresh air. Even this volume is good in comparison to Yuu Watase shit. But it is a bit of a wild ride at first. It’s like a series with ADD… it constantly jumps around in confusing ways. It’s not drawn well, and the characters, while funny, sometimes don’t make much sense. The main character is whiny and self-obsessed. However, it is a romance told from a guy’s point of view, which is notable. It’s a shounen romance, which is also notable. And it ran in Young, which would be notable if there were boatloads of fanservice. There aren’t that many titties really… but it is pretty liberal with the sex and lewd jokes, which is always a welcome thing.
I lost my internet connection and SBC is being stupid about hooking me up. Since my computer is the only one I can log onto my manga journal-thingy with, have to keep them here on my backup blog until I can import them. Such a pain in the ass.
I also have to remember what the hell I’ve read recently, and this stuck around in my memory because it was the end of one of my favorite series as of late, and also because it was good. It wraps up with a nice moral, though I thought in a somewhat frustrating way… Komatsu and Sakura clearly still love each other, yet they are destined to be too shy and stupid to admit it. Sad.
The epilogue was a nice touch. The reappearance of Yamada was especially good, whether that was in the last chapter or the epilogue. What a pimp. There was some other girl that Masao was trying to console that seemed to know him and was a prostitute of some kind… but I couldn’t remember who she was for the life of me. I’m currently rereading the series though, so hopefully it will become more clear.
And that epilogue, let me say again, was surprisingly warm and fuzzy for this series. They turned out as real people, with real people problems as adults, and that’s always nice to see… closure. And love at first sight, which is trite but I still enjoy. Shut up.
Moyoko Anno is my sex fix. Maya Shinju would probably do just as well, but I don’t know if she’s quite as filthy as Ms. Anno, and I need that. I was afraid that after Happy Mania ended, this series wouldn’t be able to satisfy my smut quota that can only be filled by Moyoko Anno. I’m big enough to admit that’s largely the reason I bought Happy Mania, though that series did pay off in the end. Flowers and Bees isn’t nearly as smutty, but what it lacks in sex it makes up for in lewd sexual humor, which also works just fine.
This volume is great for a number of reasons, and the paramount one is that it is one that’s nice to Masao. This series started off shaky because it beat up Komatsu, who was trying so hard to fit in. The volume where Komatsu winds up winning out over a bunch of good-looking guys was the first one that made me think this series has potential. It does stupid things like make Masao work at a construction site, but then it recovers so well. This volume turns the series almost into a “what not to do to land a girlfriend” comedy to a romantic comedy. The shift is nice. It’s nice to see Masao worrying about these things rather than what he looks like. I’m very glad the series moved away from that… while it was very funny at first, it was admittedly shallow, and it made me feel bad for enjoying it.
But yes… civility and score-age for Komatsu all around. Plus more dick jokes than you can shake a stick at. Masao really is a nice guy underneath that panicky facade, the series just doesn’t want you to know that until it reveals it to you just now.
I dry up without my smutty Moyoko Anno fix. Since it seems that Happy Mania is just to porny for bookstores around here, I must scratch this itch with Flowers and Bees. It’s slightly more coherent, but there’s not nearly as much sex.
Actually, this review’s a bit spoilerish, but more for hints than actually spelling out what happens, so you’ll still be surprised when you read it.
I started with the first volume passing this off as more over-the-top Anno stuff. I actually don’t like that about her series, but buried underneath their annoying exteriors beat the hearts of great stories. You have to dig deep with Happy Mania, and I will admit it’s an acquired taste, but Flowers and Bees comes out much earlier. Unfortunately I don’t remember the character’s names, but they’re still great.
The main character really mellows out in this volume, which is a huge plus. He’s still in a competition with his heinously ugly best friend to see who can score first, and said ugly best friend seems blind to the fact that he’s hideous and a cocky bastard. They both compete in a modeling contest, where the main character wears a sweater hand embroidered by his mother with his name, Masa-O, on it. Aww. The amusing devil sister stylists actually kind of fade out… which is unfortunate, because they are my favorites.
And much to my surprise, there is sex! Masao scores with an older woman! Hooray for sex!