Title: The Wallflower Vol 17
Author: Tomoko Hayakawa
Publisher: Del Rey
May Contain Spoilers
Just when Sunako and the four hottest guys in Japan had finally gotten used to living together, their landlady springs a shocking surprise: She’s going to remodel the mansion and they’ll be temporarily relocated to a luxury hotel. Now Sunako and the guys are living it up in a gorgeous five-star pleasure palace–exactly the type of place Sunako can’t stand. To make matters worse, the landlady has reserved a special suite just for Sunako and Kyohei. Unable to cope, Sunako flees in terror, and Kyohei follows. Now Sunako and Kyohei are hiding out together in a tiny studio apartment. Wait a sec. It’s almost like they’re . . . shacking up!
I find that I enjoy this series best if I leave very wide gaps of time between reading each volume. There isn’t much in the way of character development, and you don’t even have to read them in order. The chapters are fairly episodic, so jumping around in the series doesn’t have that much impact on understanding and enjoying the story. This particular volume was hiding under the bed, and it’s been almost a year since I read the previous installment, but I was able to quickly get back into Sunako’s very, very odd world again.
The mansion is being remodeled, and Sunako and Kyohei are renting a dumpy apartment instead of a staying at a five-star hotel with the rest of the gang. Sunako despairs at their lack of funds; she can’t even afford chocolate! When she accepts a high paying job in the red-light district, she thinks she’s accepting an evening cleaning position. She doesn’t realize that the job is actually for a hostess!
I enjoyed this volume, as Sunako polishes and cleans her way to notoriety, selfishly uses the guys to finish off her collection of gachapon figures, and tries to convince Takenaga to leave his family’s home and come back to the mansion. The chapters are presented with high energy and lots of humor. Hayakawa’s art is hit or miss with me, but I thought the illustrations this time around very solid, except for the shirtless scenes, where the guys look like they are anorexic.
Despite the lack of character development, The Wallflower is a fun series. Sunako’s bizarre behavior is always good for a laugh, but I don’t think I could stomach a steady diet of the title.
Review copy provided by publisher