"Mujyaki na Kuchibiru" (Innocent Lips)
by Miyako FUJIOMI
Flower Comics, 2001
I bought this because of the expressions on their faces! The guy looks awfully smug (as he should, I guess, what with this cute girl all up close to him. And the girl... well, I can't decide if her expression is one of "Help, what the heck amd I doing on this manga cover with this obnoxious guy!" or, more likely, "Excuse you, you're interrupting a private moment here. Go away before I come after with with a machete and some Nair." Seriously, her eyes are freaky! ^_^ This is a book of 3 short stories, and it turns out that the girl on the cover, who is from story 1, is indeed, pretty strange :D
The first story focuses on the relationship between Aya, a fashion design student, and Atsuro, the guy she totally has the hots for ^_^; Atsuro works as a waiter in a cafe, and Aya always goes there to work on her designs. Just looking at Atsuro gives her lots of inspiration. She has a really huge crush on him, and really wants to be his girlfriend. Finally, after haunting the cafe where he works for many weeks, she gets up the nerve to go ask him out. Except, what she ends up asking him is if he will be her fashion model for a fashion show at her school. And wow, once Aya makes up her mind to get something, she loses all shyness right away. I am amazed at how fast she goes from being all flustered around him, to offering to take him to a hotel room to check his 'sizes'. Sugoi. The next story is a love triangle between three piano students. Shinya is a really talented pianist. He also teaches piano lessons to a girl named Aria. Aria really loves Shinya, but he is totally clueless, and is rather absorbed in his music. I want to kick him sometimes. Meanwhile there is Yasumi-kun, a friend of Aria's and also a pianist. He knows how Aria feels about Shinya, and is there to support her and cheer her on in her upcoming piano competition. When Shinya is being unusually clueless, Yasumi comforts Aria. Whill Shinya get a clue and see how much Aria cares for him? Bits of this story remind me a little bit of that japanese drama 'Long Vacation'. The last story in this volume is my favorite. A Japanese girl, Kyoko, is on holiday in Italy, and runs across an annoying big ugly fat Italian lecher who tries to hit on her. Desperate to get away, she is thrilled to see a lone Japanese guy nearby. She grabs onto him and claims that he is her boyfriend. This scares the lecher off. The new guy she meets (his name is Minato) isn't too thrilled about being made use of in this way, but he gets over it, and soon the two of them become friends and take in all the sights together. He is touched by her friendly enthusiasm, and she likes his thoughtful protection and knowledge. It seems natural for them to fall for each other. However soon Kyoko discovers that Minato is not exactly who he appears to be, and the revelation sends her running back home to Tokyo. Can Minato and Kyoko find a way to make their holiday romance last?
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