Originally posted: Sunday, December 14, 2008 on Blogger

I picked up the first volume of beauty pop awhile ago because I heard it was good and only 7 volumes long (at the time, I found out that it’s still ongoing later). I’ve only recently gotten around to reading it.


Kiri Koshiba is just a regular girl, well expect for one little thing, she is an exceptional hair stylist. However, she isn’t much interested in hair styling and only a few people, who are close to her, know just how talented she is. But every once in awhile, Kiri gets her equipment and does a little magic for a girl in need.

Unlike Kiri, three boys at her school, known as the “Scissors Project”, seek to become the very best in the beauty field. In particular, Narumi, the SP leader, is obsessed with becoming top beautician in Japan, and like Kiri, his area of expertise lies in hair styling. The other two members are Kei and Ochiai. Kei is an energetic little boy who does nail art and likes to eat a lot of sweets. Ochiai is the beauty consultant and as such is level headed and the top student in his class.

Although Kiri cares very little about their staged performances, where Narumi and Kei makeover a pre-selected girl on Ochiai’s advice, she is often dragged along by her childhood friend Taro, who is a big fan. Everything changes, however, when Kiri’s best friend Kanako tries to confess her love to Ochiai, but ends up being insulted by the boys for trying to bribe Ochiai into a makeover because she is ugly. Kiri decides to give Kanako a makeover, and the next day, Kanako once again confronts Ochiai. Ochiai is utterly amazed at how much Kanako has changed and begins to wonder who is so exceptionally gifted at makeovers.

Other girls, who are also rejected by Narumi, are taken in by Kiri and each time she grants them their wish. Eventually Ochiai figures out that it is Kiri who is doing all these makeovers, and concocts a plan to get her to participate in a staged fight against the Scissors Project at the school festival. But even after asking Kiri’s father to help convince his daughter, Kiri still refuses to admit she knows what Ochiai is talking about.

However, she is convinced to give Yorozuya Hiroyo a make over after she witnesses the girl’s desperate attempt at catching a glimpse of her crush. On the day of the festival, Kiri shows up, but quite late, with both Yorozuya, her model and Kanako, her assistant. Taro easily recognizes Kiri, but the rest of the school doesn’t seem to recognize her at first (but they do see that she resembles Kiri a lot). Kiri introduces herself as X and the competition starts right away. As the competition progresses, Narumi finishes his model with time to spare, but Kiri seems to be struggling to finish on time. Then just as five minutes remain, she changes hands, using her left hand at incredible speed to finish the make over on time. Then the whole audience gasps in shock as Ochiai announces that the voting will now begin; bringing volume one to a dramatic end.

My Thoughts

I picked up Beauty Pop on whim and wasn’t expecting too much out of it. It seemed popular, but the majority does not always share the same tastes as me (FruitsBasket). I was pleasantly surprised, however, the manga was very funny and Kiri wasn’t your typical heroine; she’s lazy and lacks motivation. I’m not really interested in hair styling or makeovers, but the manga doesn’t spend too much time on that aspect. The majority is dedicated to the characters and establishing why each girl wants a makeover in the first place. The cliff hanger at the end is excruciating. We don’t get to see what Yorozuya looks like, only the shocked faces of Kanako and the rest of the audience. We also don’t see the results of the contest. It drove me mad, so I looked up some scanlations. If you can, buy volume 1 and 2 together, it will save you some sleep :)

Overall, Beauty Pop is very enjoyable and I will definitely continue to buy the manga.