Boys Over Flowers Vol 18 by Yoko Kamio Manga Review

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Title:  Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango)

 Vol 18

Author:  Yoko Kamio

Publisher:  Viz

ISBN:  9781421505329

May Contain Spoilers

Tsukushi, shocked after walking in on Tsukasa and Shigeru in a compromising position, returns home for another unpleasant surprise. Her habitually down on their luck parents are packing up and moving to the country!  Can Tsukushi survive by herself without dying of starvation?

Things just aren’t getting any easier for poor Tsukushi!  Heartbroken because Tsukasa and Shigeru seem to be getting along so well, her life is turned upside down when her parents load up their belongings and leave her alone, with nothing up rent payments to keep her company.  As she adjusts to living alone in the squalid apartment, she embraces the opportunity to make her own little castle with her usual enthusiasm. 

Attending school and able to work only part time, her finances are quickly gobbled up by the rent.  Waiting for the money her father promised to send her once he starts hauling in the big bucks as a fisherman, she’s relieved when the anticipated package finally arrives.  But wait!  There’s no money enclosed, only a package of seaweed and an entreaty from her mother to remain strong and to somehow make do  until they can send money next month.  How did tenacious Tsukushi end up in such  a family of losers?

Boys over Flowers Vol 18 delivers another enjoyable episode in the life of the unfortunate Tsukushi Makino.  Despite all of the misfortune that befalls her, she remains plucky and spirited, determined to conquer her adversity and make something good out of a really bad situation.  Seizing the moment to make her surroundings more inviting, she paints the walls and begins making plans to get some furniture.  Too bad she can’t afford to actually buy any.  Instead, she stealthily picks through the leavings for the bulky trash pickup, and is interrupted from her scavenging by Rui Hanazawa.  Talk about embarrassing!  Those F4 guys think using single-ply is the ultimate hardship!  They can’t even imagine what Tsukushi’s pathetic life could be like, which makes their friendship all the more bewildering. 

Despite Tsukushi’s grim existence, Yoko Kamio deftly wrings humor out of her heroine’s trying times.  Focusing on Tsukushi’s determination to make the best out of every situation, her adventures are fast paced and kept me rooting for her to rise above her current difficulties.  Tsukushi was even able to finally tell off Tsukasa’s nasty mother, but I have a feeling that moment of indiscretion may come back and bite her on the backside.

Grade:  B

Rated for Teen

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