Manga Reviews

Friday, February 24, 2006

Marmalade Boy

Marmalade Boy by Yoshizumi Wataru
8 volumes
Licensed by TokyoPop
Topic: Shoujo, Romance, Drama

Miki is shocked when her parents return from vacation and announce that they've each fallen in love with someone else so they're getting a divorce and will marry their new loves. To make things even odder, the people they've fallen in love with are a couple who are also divorcing, and the two newly-formed couples plan to live together in the same house! Just to top things off, the other couple have a son the same age as Miki who will be living with them all and going to the same school as Miki. It's a good thing Miki has close friends at school, because gaining a new step-father, step-mother, and prickly but very good looking step-brother all at once is about enough to drive a girl crazy. Of course sometimes friends can cause problems too, as love triangles form and disintegrate, and misunderstandings abound.

Marmalade Boy contains a lot of "typical shoujo" elements (love triangles, step-sibling romance, secrets to be revealed, misunderstandings to overcome, etc.) but the way it all comes together is definitely out of the ordinary and includes a lot of humor and unexpected touches. The characters are genuine and likable, and though they may sometimes do bad or mean things, it's always for a reason (though sometimes a rather twisted reason). Though most of the story focuses on Miki and her new step brother Yuu, their friends' lives are also explored enough that the reader really gets to know them. By the end of the final volume all the secrets have been revealed and the loose ends are tied up. My only real criticism is that a little date checking could have solved the big problem and saved everyone a lot of the angst and misery of the last couple volumes, but even with that caveat, it's a very enjoyable manga.

Rating: 7.5/10.0

-- Review Submitted by TofuQueen


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