Title: Papillon Vol 1
Author: Miwa Ueda
Publisher: Del Rey
May Contain Spoilers
My biggest complaint about this series is that it feels too much like Peach Girl. Ageha is the put upon heroine, but this time around, it’s her gorgeous twin sister giving her grief, instead of her buddy. Ageha is the opposite of twin Hana, having been raised in the country by her grandmother, while Hana stayed Tokyo and was raised by their parents. No reason was given for the family divide, and after granny fell ill, Ageha returned to her parent’s home when she was in the second grade.
Out in the country, Ageha was a tomboy, catching bugs and living it up in her rural surroundings. She met Ryusei when he visited his family in the country, and the two became fast friends. After Ageha moved back with her family, she touch with him, but as fate would have it, they are attending the same high school. Much to Ageha’s chagrin, Ryusei doesn’t recognize her, so she pines after him in secret, until the day she leaves her planner out, and someone finds a picture of Ryusei. Worse still, some weird guy had written on the picture that Ageha was madly in love with Ryusei. Floor, please swallow me up now! How will she ever be able to face her class mates again?
With the help of guidance counselor Ichijiku, Ageha slowly finds the strength to change how she feels about herself. Ichijiku doesn’t do anything by the books, and his unorthodox style of dishing out advice is unique, to say the least. He’s carefree and offers a positive outlook on everything, and he firmly believes that any goal can be achieved with enough determination. I really like this guy, though I doubt that any school would put up with a guidance counselor quite this flamboyant. I love the way he looks at things, and how he goads Ageha to find more self-confidence.
Ageha is overshadowed by her twin, but instead of trying to compete with Hana, she just allows herself to fade into the background. Next to her sparkling sister, she thinks she’s dowdy and unattractive. When it becomes apparent that Ageha has a crush on Ryusei, Hana turns on the charm to steal him from her. This all felt very reminiscent of Peach Girl. This isn’t really all bad, because I did enjoy the trials and tribulations of Momo, but I was hoping for a something a little more groundbreaking here. I liked the message that you can achieve anything with the right attitude, and that with enough determination, anything is possible. I was just hoping that it would be presented in a more unique fashion.
Rated for Teen
Review copy provided by Del Rey