Monday, August 20, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Perfect Girl Evolution by Hayakawa Tomoko

Perfect Girl Evolution
Hayakawa Tomoko

After confessing to her first love, Sunako Nakahara is left broken-hearted and her confidence sinking after being called "ugly" by the boy she likes. Two years later, Sunako Nakahara, the agoraphobic, horror-movie-loving, pockmark-faced, frizzy-haired, fashion-illiterate recluse who tends to break into explosive nosebleeds whenever she sees anyone attractive, is sent to her aunt's mansion filled with gorgeous looking boys. The deal is, if the boys can turn Sunako into a perfect lady in three years, their rent to the mansion will be free. The problem is Sunako doesn't want to change... How will they be able to accomplish this deal now?

ヤマトナデシコ七変化; 完美小姐进化论; 엽기인걸 스나코; My Fair Lady; The Wallflower; The Perfect Lady; PGE; Sunako of Many Forms; The Wallflower; Yama Nade; YamaNade; Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge; Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge; La flor de la pared; Perfektes Mädchen
Sites for reading online (free)
Manga Fox, Manga Reader, Manga Eden.

Rosy's Scawlings on Perfect Girl Evolution
This manga had me cackling even during one of the most miserable years of my life. Sunako brought back many memories of not wanting to dance while everyone was trying to drag me off a chair, not wanting to dress up, of hiding behind my hair and barricading myself in my room where I kept anything creepy I could without worrying my parents. And even 120 editions later Sunako is steadfastly refusing to give up on being a creepy tomboy with a mad temper and deadly martial arts skills. Sometimes she loses her battles and is forced to dress up, once to meet a prince, but she always comes away with her odd dignity and personality intact. In the case of meeting the prince she's far too interested in the torture chamber and giant chocolate fountain to care about the possibility of marriage to a prince. In fact, I doubt she even realised that was what the meeting was for.
This manga is hilarious and extremely supportive to any girl fed up with being told to act womanly, although it does occasionally point out that overdoing the chocolate and becoming a pimple-faced agoraphobic in love with a skeleton or life-size anatomical doll might be a bit too much. I found this manga a very light read and one that eased my heart a little while life became hard. It is definitely worth a read and Sunako's characterisation is brilliant.
Also, those beautiful boys need a little meat on their bones. I kept wanting to feed them and then feeling a bit touched in the head for thinking that as they're manga characters...
If this is your first manga it may take a little while for you to get used to reading from right to left or to the different ways moods are illustrated. But once you're used to it you may find your reading habits altered in strange ways. Me, I've started reading lists backwards.

I'd suggest this manga to: teenage girls fed up with the drive to be beautiful and teenage girls or women naturally of the tomboy nature. I'd also recommend it to any woman still open to reading comics and some men who love their women strong of personality and distinctly different.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

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