Beauty Pop 8 by Kiyoko Arai: B-

bp8From the back cover:
Just as the Scissors Project is getting stronger than ever, forces are at work to discredit Kiri and disband the club. What’s even more surprising is the person who is behind it all…

Most of what happens in this volume is pretty dumb. There’s a rival stylist, hired by a mysterious boss, whose tasks are to get the Scissors Project to disband and to retrieve a pair of special golden scissors that were given to Kiri a few volumes ago. The rival causes the rest of the students to suspect Kiri of trashing the S.P. club room, but is eventually unveiled in a highly unlikely fashion. His boss then tells Narumi that he can prove he’s serious about the S.P. by entering and winning a tournament.

It’s all incredibly contrived, but this silly plot does serve to provide some good moments. When Narumi catches some girls planning to pull a nasty prank on Kiri, he gives them an earful, not realizing she’s nearby and has overheard. In fact, ever since their talk about why they want to be beauticians, relations have thawed some between them. In this volume, they’re giving each other thank you gifts, we get to see Kiri laugh, and I feel, for the first time, a romantic vibe. Ochiai’s not to be outdone, of course, and tries in his way to protect Kiri, too.

Overall, it’s not a very good volume, but it leaves off just as the tournament’s getting underway, and I expect I shall enjoy that.

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