Here you will find honest, intelligent manga reviews for shojo fans of all ages.

Jun 22, 2009

Pretty Poison - Yutta Narukami

Pretty Poison is part of the LuvLuv publications of comics for women, known as the redikomi or josei genre in Japan.

Synopsis: This one shot manga tells the story of a young career woman Riyako, who is looking forward to moving in with her current boyfriend. Only her no good boyfriend has three other women and pays a young high school guy, Shogo, to distract her after he dumps her. Shogo has done this for him before with other girls, but for some reason, Riyako makes an impression on him. After a purely physical relationship Riyako begins to care about Shogo, and wants to help him with his future. Shogo has feelings for Riyako too, and must deal with his own familial issues in order to become a better man for Riyako.

Review: This story reminds me of a Harlequin romance novel in the sense that the plot is quickly executed, the characters are only developed up to a point, and instead of using your imagination for the sex scenes, it's all drawn out for you to see. I was somewhat surprised as to how graphic the content was. Sometimes I was trying to figure out exactly what body parts were being drawn. But if you can get past those scenes, then the rest of the drawings are decent. I don't care that much for Narukami's style. There could have been more detail in the drawings. It looks like simple line art with amateur toning. As for the story, it could have been developed more. I think some more scenes outside of the bedroom would have made the characters more realistic. The female lead, Riyako, came across as weak willed, even though Shogo states that he thinks she's strong. She is portrayed as being easily controlled by her body.

Pretty Poison also contains a short called Yugi Scores. A girl who becomes engaged to a professional soccer player gets cold feet when she begins to contemplate the domestic life. There is very little depth to the story, which leaves no impression upon me.

Romance Rating: Erotic - There is an explicit warning and mature rating on the font and back of the novel for good reason. There is plenty of nudity and explicit sex scenes. They do help define the characters' relationship, but it's also drawn for the women readers who enjoy such displays. I'm trying not to be too judgemental here, but it really is good ol' smut. The book's sole purpose is to provide a short story with all those steamy scenes. Hey, if you like that, then go for it!

Media Status: Pretty Poison is available in one volume from LuvLuv publications.


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