"Oshare kozou ni hanamaru"
(Flower Rings for the Fashion Boy AKA The Fashion Boy is Cool)
by Tsueko AZUMI
Margaret Comics, 1988
I actually purchased this manga as a result of another shoujo manga page, so it isnt exactly 'random' but it's a fun shoujo series, so I figured that it wouldn't hurt to
plug the series here too! I found this by surprise (I wasn't out looking for it, I knew it existed, but was totally surprised when I saw it sitting on the shelf) at the Asahiya bookstore in the
Mitsuwa (aka Yaohan) store that was near the convention hotel for Anime Central 2000 :) As a random note, there really was not much of a selection of shoujo manga at this bookstore, and what they did have was often lacking the first couple
of volumes. I was very disappointed! But anyway, I was happy that I DID find this particular series :) The artwork in it is not exactly my favorite style- everyone looks pretty scary and scribbly to me, actually ^_^; but I think the story and characters
are cute enough for me to get beyond the art style :)
If you have seen the shoujo OAV "The Fashion Boy Is Cool" then you may already be familiar with this series. This is the manga from which that OAV was created. The OAV covers events in the first tankoubon of the manga, though some events are skipped and rearranged a bit.
After all, they squished the whole tankoubon into only 30 minutes of anime. I think they did a fairly good job :) Anyway, It's the story of 14 year old Kotobuki-chan, a junior high school girl who one day sees a cool fashion store while out shopping with some friends. What captures Kotobuki's attention
is the guy she sees in the window of the store. His name is Hodaka-san, and he is the owner of the store and designs all the clothes sold there. Kotobuki has a serious crush on Hodaka-san, and spends a lot of her time at the cafe across the street just watching him work through the store window.
Things change one day when Hodaka and 2 of his friends
actually got to the cafe too, and ask to sit at Kotobuki's table because the other seats are all taken. Kotobuki lies to the guys about her age, claiming to be 20 years old and in college. Hodaka-san is 26 years old, and Kotobuki is worried that because she is only 14, he will not like her. Kotobuki is thrilled when Hodaka's friends start teasing her and ask her which of them she would like as a boyfriend, she immediately chooses Hodaka-san. The guys laugh and dub Kotobuki as Hodaka's girlfriend.
After that, Kotobuki hangs around the shop more often, and even works there sometimes, all the while pretending to be older than she is. Eventually though, things are discovered, and the relationship between Kotobuki and Hodaka becomes very strained. Kotobuki is so much younger than Hodaka, will it ever work out? She's sill only in school. Can Hodaka really care for a girl so young? Like I mentioned above, the OAV only covers the first volume of the manga. I know that there are at least 8 volumes
total. I have 1-5, and plan to get the rest eventually. It's fun to watch Kotobuki and Hodaka try to work out their differences and come to really care about each other :D
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