Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Shigeyoshi Takagi
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo Beat Manga)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
Welcome to a life less ordinary.
Everyone, at some point in High school, felt that they don’t quite fit in nor aren’t “normal” compared to the other kids. Like Riko Kunimi in Volume 1 of Flower in a Storm, all we want is to be accepted just the way we are and this is an understandable wish. Yet Riko isn’t normal and the boy who accepts her is a wealthy boy who forces his way into her life and threatens to whisk her away to become his bride proving that nothing in this world is normal but that’s what makes life so interesting.
You see, Riko Kunimi has never led an ordinary life seeing as she has amazing Superwoman-like abilities and the boy she loved just flat out rejected her. All she wanted was a boyfriend who likes her as is but, one day, that boy does come in the form of Ran Tachibana who bursts into her classroom with a gun and a flower demanding that she marry him immediately. At it turns out, Ran comes from one of the wealthiest families in Japan and has very rarely heard the word “no.” As fate would have it, Ran was a witness to Riko’s special abilities one day and for the boy her age it was love at first sight.
Of course, Riko thinks Ran is out of his mind and pushes him away but she finds that Ran is persistent and chases her with all the resources he has available like helicopters and armed bodyguards. Using her powers, though, Riko manages to elude him but Ran gives himself until five o’clock to catch her. Unfortunately for him, Ran is a target for assassination and kidnapping so when a classmate of Riko’s finds a bomb underneath the rich boy’s limo and uses it to blow a reinforced door to save her classmate Riko it causes the clock to stop moving. That’s mission accomplished for Ran Tachibana and he even gets to steal a kiss from her.
Ran’s persistence annoys Riko, though, and she becomes even more annoyed when Ran decides to enroll in her school and find a place in her classroom. Ran doesn’t even bother to study but instead tries to make the best of his stay in the school to woo Riko who can’t get over the kiss. Meanwhile, there’s a stylish young assassin on Ran’s tail and kidnaps Riko on his motorcycle. Giving chase, Ran tries to rescue her but it is Riko who saves herself. Still, she can’t help but feel comforted that Ran tried to rescue her himself.
In another chapter, Ran whisks Riko away on his helicopter during class to take her to the airport where the pair will head out to a friend’s wedding … in another country! His spontaneous nature still annoys the girl but once she sees how polite and sweet Ran’s friend, Chiaki, is she lets her guard down. Unfortunately, Chiaki has an agenda of his own and that wedding that was planned was with none other than Riko.
After that fiasco, Ran takes part in the festival held at Riko’s school and enjoys himself until the same redheaded stylish assassin comes looking for Ran again it’s another showdown. It is there that Riko realizes that no matter how many times Riko displays her special abilities it is Ran who truly accepts her. Could this be real love at last? Only the next volume will tell.
There’s a bonus chapter with Riko and Ran and it’s actually really cute despite the fact that it adds nothing to the main story. Wedged in between, however, is a short manga story about two different characters that have nothing to do with the main story but it’s actually a really interesting little story. In the story, a young man named Kiyoharu is suddenly kissed by a cute girl named Toko who is known for kissing just about every boy in school. Not only is he intrigued by this girl who has a secret but Kiyoharu finds himself falling for her.
While the main cast of this manga is charming and intriguing in their own way, Volume 1 of Flower in a Storm lacks its own personality and a stronger story it deserves. That said, Takagi-sensei has a wonderful sense of humor that comes out nicely and one of the bonus manga stories shows what a good storyteller she is but, in the end, the main story isn’t a bad read but it could have been better.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
While trying to live her life as normally as possible despite the fact that there’s something special about her, Riko Kunimi finds herself being pursued by the handsome and wealthy Ran Tachibana who makes it clear that she is his bride-to-be and will not stop chasing her until she accept it. As fate would have it, though, Ran is just about the only boy who accepts her just the way she is but his life is always in constant danger. There’s also a bonus story about a girl who kisses every boy in her school
Takagi-sensei’s art is nothing original but it is still quite lovely and suits the story nicely enough.
Volume 1 of Flower in a Storm could have been one of those exceptionally fun shoujo manga series worthy of the genre but, thanks to a story with a weak supporting cast, is just an amusing read that could have been something more special than this. Still, there are some fun moments in this volume that make it worth reading.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media.