I have been reading manga for the past 6 years and as a result my tastes have changed and evolved. I first started off with Inu-Yasha and the glory days of Tokyopop and obsessed over shojo beat when it premiered around the same time. Even after Shojobeat went out of business, I still stuck to their stories and expanded into Yen Press’ series and navigated online to read unlicensed series. I was going into student teaching and I found it harder to identify with characters in high school. Then, I discovered manga targeted towards a ‘Josei’ audience and I was hooked. One series I’ve had my eye on is “Butterflies, Flowers” and after wanting to read it for 2 years I finally had the chance to read it.
Butterflies, Flowers Vol. 1
Shojo Beat Manga
From the first volume we are introduced to our two main characters, Choko and Domoto. Choko is the daughter of a formally aristocratic family, whose business failed when she was a young girl. At the age of 20, she interviews for a position at a real estate and gets the job. The trouble starts from the interview with her boss, Domoto, who decides to train her personally. As fate would have it, he is actually the long lost servant to Choko. Having had ‘loving’ feelings towards him, the two enter into an interesting relationship
If I can associate a feeling with Butterflies, flowers it would be ‘familiar’. The plot for the most part seemed predictable and felt familiar to the veteran manga reader. Choko is the stereotypical ‘clumsy’ office girl (honestly, how can so many manga characters make so many mistakes and not be fired?) While Domoto is the typical skirt chaser (before Choko steps in) and cycles between loving and cruel. He is bipolar and the reader is left wondering who he really is. Towards the end of the volume we see another side of Choko and the whole character scheme is really bipolar. On the plus side, the supporting cast is very enjoyable and offers life in the pages.
When I first picked up Butterflies, Flowers, I was expecting something ‘heavier’ in terms of stories. What I read was ‘light and fluffy’. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, just not what I expected. The art style, simple and inviting, fit the tone of the story, though since there are eight volumes, I predict this pacing will change. The story itself followed a predictable pattern and yes, a rival is introduced in this volume. A lot of things happen in this first volume and it feels too fast with not enough details and the distinct feeling you’ve been here before. It feels like a high school drama set in the office world, only the characters aren’t quite there yet.
There is a good bit of potential here, but Yuki Yoshihara doesn’t give us as much of a foundation and she’s capable of. I will be sticking around for volume 2 in belief that things will pick up and make this a unique story, but I’m not rushing just yet to the store to pick up the next volume.
+Art style and story mesh well together
+Main character bipolarity
+Too ‘light’ and feels like a high school drama