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volume 3 issue 2

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Marmalade Boy
Monthly Manga
46 pages
Wataru Yoshizumi
This is what shoujo manga fans in the U.S. have been waiting for.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Marmalade Boy
By Holly Kolodziejczak

Many years after Marmalade Boy was an extremely popular anime in Japan, this wonderfully creative manga has finally made it's way to the shores of North America. Trust TOKYOPOP to bring us fan favorites that seemed to have been forgotten by other major companies. In the past 12 months, TOKYOPOP has made fans across North America happy with anime releases like Saint Tail and Vampire Princess Miyu TV, soundtrack releases like Trigun - Spicy Stewed Donut, and now with brand new manga releases like Kodocha, which also premieres in Jan. 2002, and Marmalade Boy.

Personally, I thought that older series like Marmalade Boy and Kodocha would never cross to this side of the ocean, much to my dismay. You cannot BEGIN to imagine my elation when I got the news that they had been licensed. Lets just say... I think maybe the neighbors wondered why I was screaming the day that I read the press release about it. After months of anticipation, I made my way to my local comic shop and picked up issue #1. I was so excited that I had already read the whole thing twice through in the car by the time we got home. As soon as issue #2 came out, it was in my hot little hands.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Marmalade Boy storyline, let me give you a little background. The main character is a high school girl named Miki, who is an only child. One normal day, Miki sits down with her parents to breakfast, when out of the blue they tell her, "Oh, by the way, we're getting divorced." Needless to say, Miki is quite shocked. Her parents had taken a trip together to Hawaii the previous month. While they were there, they met another couple who were also from the same area and about the same age. Miki's mother fell in love with the other man, and Miki's father fell in love with the other woman. The two couples discussed the situation, and decided to swap spouses. When Miki hears this, she is completely outraged and mortified. She decides that if she has any say in the situation, that it's not going to happen. She later learns that not only are her parents planning on swapping spouses with another couple, the two couples are planning to all move into the same house together. And as if THAT wasn't enough, the other couple also has a son named Yuu who is the same age as Miki. Not only the same age... but super cute, to boot.

Miki hopes that she can escape her crazy new family at school, but those hopes are soon foiled as well when she learns that Yuu has transferred to her school. Yuu, being in the same grade as Miki, also somehow ends up in the same CLASS as Miki. It seems that no matter what Miki does, she just can't escape from her new family. To add insult to injury, Yuu is an instant hit with all the girls in her class. Yuu is talented, smart, and cute... how can he go wrong? Miki finds herself attracted to Yuu, but tries to force herself to forget about it... after all, he's not opposed to what their parents are doing, so he's the enemy - right?

I was very happy with TOKYOPOP's work on this manga. My first observation was that the manga was still laid out in the original Japanese format, meaning that it is read from right to left. The translation work also seems to be very accurate. Episode 1 of the anime basically opens right where issue 1 of the manga does, and continues to follow it very closely, as far as I can tell from the first two issues. The second issue leaves off at about the same point that the first episode of the anime does. TOKYOPOP also left all of the names intact, which is sure to give fans something to be relieved about. Not only all of this, but TOKYOPOP has included a bonus at the end of the second issue - an eight page preview of another one of TOYKOPOP's new manga titles, Kodocha.

Wataru Yoshizumi first published her Marmalade Boy manga through SHUEISHA in 1992. Even though the manga is 10 years old, the storyline can still be considered modern, and the artwork appears very crisp and fresh as well. The manga sells for $2.95US per issue, and issues one and two are available at your local comic store right now. If you're a fan of the anime, or if you like quirky and funny shoujo manga, RUN - don't walk - and pick up this title today.

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