Boys Over Flowers 11 by Yoko Kamio: A-

From the back cover:
Tsukushi has just two weeks to prepare for the Teen of Japan contest! She can’t do it all on her own so Tsukasa’s sister, Tsubaki, offers her tutors in everything she’ll need to know to win. She must stay at the Doumyouji mansion while she receives her lessons. Can Tsukushi stand the rigors of this training, and will anyone bolster her spirits?

The contest gets underway! The latter half of this volume deals with the competition, and of course, Tsukushi manages to avoid elimination mostly through luck, but with the occasional shot of confidence afforded by Tsukasa’s antics in the audience. Although her success is pretty predictable, these chapters are still entertaining.

My favorite elements, however, are peripheral to the competition. First, I like that Tsukushi has realized her feelings (or lack their of) for Kinsan. She finds that learning of his fiancée’s existence does not hurt anything like learning Rui was in love with someone else and that her wishy-washy attitude regarding him is keeping several people in limbo. I hope her resolve to give a decisive answer after the competition will actually be carried out.

Also, I love the comparison between Kinsan and Tsukasa and what they offer her. Sure, both are rich, and at first, Kinsan might seem the better option, seeing as how he’s more clueful in general. But a conversation with Kinsan actually instills some self-doubt in Tsukushi, as he advises her to drop out because the competition is particularly tough. Tsukasa, meanwhile, has absolute faith in her. When she’s rattled enough by Kinsan’s warning that she wants to give up, Tsukasa stops her and spends the evening playing goofy card games with her to keep her from dwelling on the issue. He may be a dolt sometimes, but he knows just what to say to encourage her. I love moments like this between them.

As a final thought, I know Tsukushi’s appearance gradually changes throughout the series and she ends up looking a bit cuter by the end. I wonder how much of that is art style and how much is actually IC changes for the character. Like… will all this training actually stick with her and affect how she looks and acts from here on out? It’d be pretty neat if it did.

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  1. I personally think her cuter look is because of improving art style. It would be kind of cool, though. I dislike shows that does the whole “makeover” thing, and would love to see the character just gradually change over time. But alas, no manga has ever done that.

    With Tsukushi, she looks better for one volume, and if she keeps on improving…It’s pretty much just the art style. Flip back to vol 1 and you can see what I mean.

  2. Yeah, in what I’ve read of volume 12 so far she’s back to scarfing food and wearing her hair in pigtails. Oh well. 🙂

    Hikaru no Go does a good job of subtly aging the characters, though their basic appearances stay pretty much the same.


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