boys over flower 16 Boys Over Flowers is now out of print, so I had to pick up a used copy (an old library book) and I’m rather sad at how beat up it is, but I guess a beat up copy is better than nothing, right? This volume’s cover is also one of my favourites. It’s nice to see all 3 main characters together and smiling. It was also neat to discover that a promo photo of the voice actors for Tsukasa, Tuskushi, and Rui was the basis of this volume’s picture. Those extra little notes from the author are rather neat~

Summary


Now that Tsukasa has declared that Tsukushi is precious to him in front of his mother, Kaede is determined to do everything possible to remove Tsukushi from Tsukasa’s life. At first she targets Tsukushi’s weakness and brings 50 million yen to Tsukushi and her parents. She wants them to take the money in return for Tsukushi cutting ties with Tsukasa. Beyond offering the money, she is very rude to Tsukushi; openly stating that Tsukushi is merely a fun diversion for Tsukasa and nothing more and to be mindful that purity is her greatest asset in the future. To everyone’s surprise, Tsukushi’s mother pours salt on top of Kaede and refuses her money stating they have pride too. Unfortunately, it seems rather than defending her daughter, Tsukushi’s mom is thinking of the big picture. Instead of 50 million yen, she wants the entire Domyoji fortune via Tsukushi marrying Tsukasa, much to Tsukushi’s annoyance.

Not deterred, Kaede moves onto the next stage of her plan. She calls Tsukushi out to one of the hotels she manages and introduces both Tsukushi and Tsukasa to Tsukasa’s fiancee, Shigeru. Both Tsukasa and Shigeru are exasperated at being forced into an arranged marriage and Tsukasa is determined to run off. But instead of running off with Tsukushi, he mistakenly grabs Shigeru. When he realizes his mistaken, he tries to ditch Shigeru on the streets. Meanwhile Tsukushi thinks Tsukasa has been two-timing her and is furious. She refuses to listen to Tsukasa’s excuses. It’s only when she meets Shigeru accidentally that the misunderstanding is cleared. However, things seem to be getting more complicated as Shigeru steps up to her role as Tsukasa’s fiancee, by declaring she is going to whip him into shape, bringing volume 16 to a close.

My Thoughts


I find it interesting how in the rich boy/poor girl set up, it is always the mother who is so vehemently opposed to the relationship between the heroine and her son. I say interesting because in such patriarch structures, it’s usually the father who has control over approving and disapproving of the relationship. HanaDan does have a good justification. Tsukasa’s father is probably far too busy to take care of finding his son a proper bride, so it’s been delegated to Kaede, but I still find it ironic that in this sort of set up, it’s always the mother playing the tyrant.1 Outside that, I think it was a good time to introduce Kaede and Shigeru. The slap-slap-kiss tension was getting stretched out too thin, and as  a result, it was losing much of its impact. Likewise, the stakes weren’t high enough with rivals like the 3 Cronies, Rui, Sakurako, Kin, etc. With Kaede, we can finally expect someone who can actually make mischief for Tsukasa which he can’t just solve by getting angry and scaring them away.

Outside that, I really enjoyed how awesome Tsukushi’s mom was this volume, even if it was for questionable purposes. And I was also happy to see more of Tsubaki’s story. Her reaction to her mother’s meddling in Tsukasa and Tsukushi’s relationship fleshed her out more as a character, and I can now totally see why she so quickly took such a liking to Tsukushi. (Previously, I did find it kind of weird that she just unquestioningly approved of Tsukushi). I hope we get to see more of her. Tsubaki is quickly becoming my favourite character in the series! As for the new characters, well, Kaede is an unlikable ass, which I think is the point. And I do think she makes a good obstacle for Tsukushi and Tsukasa (if a somewhat cliche one). As for Shigeru, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about her. I definitely liked that she did not want the arranged marriage with Tsukasa, but then the ending implies that she changed her stance. I do like that she is more like Tsukushi, in that she doesn’t worship Tsukasa like the other girls who wanted him, but speaks her mind and punches him. She definitely has potential to be an interesting love rival and I’ll hold out on passing any judgment on her until I can see where Ms.Kamio wants to take her as a character.

It’s such a shame that the future volumes are all out of print. I managed to snag volume 16 for an alright price (~20 with shipping), but as a result, I got a rather worn book. It’s definitely better than nothing, but I’m so sad that it’s going to be an up hill battle to get this series in my hands now. I just hope there isn’t a volume that is super rare and crazy inflated like with Please Save My Earth. Although I wonder if those two comic shops I used to frequent have any of the OOP volumes still. Two years ago, before the move to Poland, I recall they had a few volumes. Hmmmm. Maybe I need to make a trip on one of my days off when I have more cash saved up~

–SW

edit: In-between writing this post, editing, and now publishing, I did go check out one of the shops I used to frequent and unfortunately, they no longer had any HanaDan. On top of that, they are basically getting rid of their manga too (and only selling whatever they have left over and not ordering any more). Such a shame. Looks like it’s going to be an uphill battle for HanaDan and all these OOP manga now. I did pick up Tsubasa volume 7 (which I needed), and Itazura na Kiss volume 2 (they unfortunately did not have the first volume). Starsamaria from Shoujo Corner got me interested in the latter and I thought, why not since I drove all the way out here.

 

Notes

1 – Other examples include Ryouki’s mother from Hot Gimmick. Sakuya’s mother (and to a lesser extend his father) from Grand Sun. Even Fruits Basket sorta kinda fits this trope, albeit in a more unconventional way.

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