Beauty Pop Vol 10 by Kiyoko Arai Manga Review

Title:  Beauty Pop Vol 10

Author:  Kiyoko Arai

Publisher: Viz

ISBN:  9781421525945

May Contain Spoilers

It’s series finale time!  Beauty Pop wraps up after 10 volumes of intense hair-styling battles, and this last installment does not disappoint.  The action picks up with the All Japan Beauty Contest, and all is not well with the Scissors Project.  There are tensions roiling under the surface, and they finally erupt as Narumi and Ochiai share some very heated words.  Their rivalry over Kiri threatens to tear the team apart, but with the Koshiba Salon on the line, they realize that they have to work together or Kiri will lose her home.  Now the bigger problem – where the heck is Kiri?  Why is she late for such an important competition?

Ah, Narumi finally has to admit that he cares for Kiri, but first, Narumi’s dad has to try to sabotage the contest.  That guy really is a huge jerk, and it’s sad to think that he still hasn’t accepted his earlier defeats from Kiri’s dad.  I guess that it would be difficult to be constantly trounced by a guy who seems so indifferent to his victories, but after 20 years, you just have to learn to let go!  Poor Narumi almost grew up to be the spitting image of his father, so it’s a good thing he had a life-altering run-in with mussy-head.  Like her father, Kiri is easy going, and it makes a wonderful contrast to Narumi’s Type A personality.

I never thought I would stay committed to a series about make-overs, but Beauty Pop was a fun, engaging story.  With Kiri to lead the way, it was hard not to get caught up in the action.  She was a very unusual character, who appeared unruffled and uncaring on the outside, but was very compassionate and kind on the inside.  She was just what Narumi needed to put him and his hyper-inflated ego back in place.  His yelling and ranting was rendered ineffective against Kiri’s marked indifference.  She never rose to his baiting, and her lack of reaction never failed to get a rise out of Narumi.  The poor guy is going to have a stroke before he’s twenty if he doesn’t learn to sit back and enjoy the sunshine. 

The concluding volume has some extras, including a sticker sheet (yay!), some bonus chapters, and favorite scenes from the ShojoBeat team responsible for making sure this was a great release from beginning to end. 

Grade:  B+

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