Shin

Marmalade Boy volume 1

Creator: Wataru Yoshizumi
Publisher: Tokyopop
First Released: April 2002
Number of Volumes: 8
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama

First Volume Review

Intro
All Miki Koishikawa wanted was an ordinary family and that’s exactly what she had. Then one fateful day her parents met the Matsuuras, and turned Miki’s world upside-down. Now she lives in a house with four parents and her new stepbrother, Yuu, who is made out to be a total jerk (a cute jerk, though). It’s bad enough being brought into her parents’ strange soap opera, but Miki will star in a soap of her own when she ends up torn between her long-time crush, Ginta, and her new stepbrother.

Review
What do you get when you throw in comedy, romance and a twisty story? Well, you get Marmalade Boy of course. In the first volume of Marmalade Boy we meet the main character Miki. She’s a dynamic character with a good personality, always caring for others but occasionally a bit self-centred. So what’s the story? Well, after Miki’s parents came back from Hawaii, she learns that they want a divorce and that’s not all; her parents want to “switch” partners. When Miki meets the ‘other parents’, she also meets their attractive son, Yuu. The two groups of parents then announce their decision for all six of them to move in together. When Miki tries to object to the idea Yuu doesn’t give in. In fact, he supports their decision. What ever makes them happy makes Yuu happy. So when they all move in together, Yuu also transfers to her school. Mika starts getting jealous, as the girls of her school seem to like the new student a lot. Not because of the girls crushes on him but because he acts like a different person at school. Whilst among the other students he seems very nice and friendly towards others, but at home he is moody and acts like a jerk towards Miki. Things get a bit more complicated when Ginta, Miki’s old crush, starts getting jealous of Yuu and Miki’s ‘relationship’. That’s when Miki learns that Ginta may have a thing for her. Things get a lot more complicated when more problems come up! Will Miki get out of her little dilemma or will she fail?

I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Marmalade Boy and was therefore reluctant to buy a copy of it myself. After having the opportunity to read it, I feel as though it could have been better than how it played out. Although Marmalade Boy was pretty good it lacked true suspense. There was nothing that would really keep you reading. Other than the lovable characters, the story line had some plot holes. Although it keeps us guessing what is going on with Miki and Yuu, the other characters don’t get a lot of development. The first volume is basically surrounding the two main characters, other than that; there isn’t much to read about. I felt as if the story could have been too unrealistic. I mean, two of the same parents switching partners with the other couple? It was too weird for me to think about it.

So how did Tokyopop do on translating Marmalade Boy? Well, considering that this is part of Tokyopop’s new ‘100% manga line’ I felt that it was a brave but great move for Tokyopop. The translation was pretty well and I don’t recall any mistakes. The cover was pretty well done, nice and simple. I don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to pick up the second volume just yet, but it will be added onto my ‘to buy list’ to see if it improves any.

Main Characters

Miki
She is your every-day girl-next-door. It’s the people who live with her that make her life weird. With four parents and a step-brother, it’s no wonder Miki is confused.

Yuu
He always seems to have himself together…and the girls love it. Yuu, much to the dismay of Miki, is always surrounded by young girls and is always followed around by Arimi, the ex-girlfriend who would do anything to get him back. Miki finds herself ‘liking’ her new step-brother.

Arimi
Arimi made a deal with Yuu so that he would go out with her. Now that he’s broken things off with her, she will do anything to get him back – even if it means going out with Ginta to make Yuu jealous.

Ginta
He’s always had a crush on Miki, but when he found out she liked him, he did not take advantage of the opportunity to profess his love. But now, seeing her with Yuu is driving him nuts, so he teams up with Arimi -Yuu’s ex – and is on a mission to break Miki and Yuu up, so that he can get the girl he loves.

Meiko
Meiko is Miki’s best friend. Her parents hate each other, making her family life very difficult. Meiko can be distant and has some secrets. She is very mature and she is an introvert. She always gives advice to Miki.

By Raven

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