In my mission to educate myself further about manga, I sought out the recent popular titles. First off, a confession: I am not a girly girl. I never have been. I have never read romances and tend to disdain them, as much as I know I shouldn’t. So, I was not terribly excited about delving into romance manga, worried that I would only find tales of fashion plate girls swooning and impossibly pretty boys being either monstrous or too good to be true.
Peach Girl was a happy surprise. Don’t be put off by the fact that she can’t seem to do up her fly on the cover. While the girls are fashion plates and the boys impossibly pretty, the story is familiar to anyone who’s fallen in love, is too self-conscious to have the confidence to do anything about it, and yet can’t stop thinking it. Momo is terribly aware of how she looks: blond hair and a tan she cannot get rid of in a world where pale skin is the ideal. She is teased for either being a beach bunny or a slut by her peers, though she is most certainly neither. Her “friend” Sae–actually her back-stabbing rival–sports dark tresses and a pale complexion. Will Momo get the object of her affection, the quiet Toji, despite her perceived flaws, or will Sae win the day? Add in the class dreamboat, Kiley, making eyes at Momo, and you have a recipe for humor and heartache in all the right doses.
Peach Girl, vol. 1
by Miwa Ueda