Friday, May 29, 2009

Manga Review: Flower of Life 4 by Fumi Yoshinaga

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Publication Date: May 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1-5697-0055-6
MSRP: $12.95
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders

The long anticipated Flower of Life 4 by Fumi Yoshinaga has finally arrived.

You have NO idea how long I've waited for this from DMP.

The first thing I have to mention is the packaging. To be honest, I'm dissapointed in DMP. This manga has NO dustjacket despite it remaining to be $12.95. I actually was surprised that I did like (yes like) the lack of dustjacket as a standalone manga, but when I shelve it with Volume 1 through 3, I can't help but scowl because of the lack of consistency. I mean come on, this is the final volume. Adding the dust jacket would have been a nice gesture for fans. Nevertheless, at least it's out.

This volume turned out to be bittersweet. I read it last night and to be honest, I was unhappy with how it wrapped out initially. As I thought about it the whole day today, I'm actually quite please with how it turned out.

Harutaro and Shota are working hard to become professional manga-ka.

*** Spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own caution. Highlight below to read. ***

Their manga is severely criticized by a manga editor from Shinshokan (the Japanese company that actually publishes Flower of Life). The heroine of their manga lacked depth, but Shota's interpretation was that he wanted her to be enigmatic and mysterious. After having Takeda look at it, she mentions that the character should do something unexpected.

At the same time Harutaro's sister is having a difficult moment in her life and is asking for support from her brother. Unfortunately, Harutaro is focused on his manga to create a better life. When he returns home, he finds his sister distraught and drunk with a stranger. They get in a fight and she reveals to Harutaro that his leukemia could relapse, devastating him.

After this point of time, Harutaro changes. This unexpected event is almost parallel to what they are trying to convey in their manga.

What happens in Harutaro's life is a reflection of the theme in Harutaro and Shota's manga.

Not only that, but the meaning behind the title is revealed.

This final volume is definitely something to be cherished. You will see the joys and hardships of life, and you will witness something unexpected but still wonderful.

Despite its shortcomings in packaging, I highly recommend this manga for any slice-of-life or Yoshinaga fan.

1 comment:

Tissie said...

I want a copy!!!!

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