Saint Leaf School is home to a variety of quirky characters, most of whom are incredibly good looking, especially the top five boys who rule the school. Then there is Hitomi Sakuragawa, who looks a little different than everyone else. She’s a little chubby, a little clumsy. She does, however, have the luxury of having the cutest, most awesomest neighbors: the five boys who rule the school. They take her under their wing and Hitomi is soon hitting the gym and on the road to popularity. Will they, as the title suggests, be able to pull it off? Can the boys turn Hitomi into a swan? Since this is a series, the answer will have to wait.
Overall, this is a pretty good introduction to the series. The beginning focuses on the five boys and school life for them. It’s quick-paced and at times hard to follow. The real enjoyment comes when Hitomi enters the picture. Her interactions with the boys are often embarrassing and hilarious, two things teens can definitely relate to. While this particular volume may not exude magnificence, the premise is alluring and will draw teen readers in. In general the artwork is appealing, however the detail for Hitomi could be expanded. She is portrayed as a general, overweight girl with little detail. Her facial expressions are simplistic and lack depth, which isn’t indicative of her character, whereas other, non-essential characters are given more detail. By giving Hitomi a general caricature it diminishes her importance and significance in the story, especially since there aren’t many overweight characters in manga. The depiction of movement and action within the art is well done, and does keep the story moving along. The forthcoming volumes will surely expand on the ugly duckling plot, and I’m hopeful that the depiction of Hitomi will only get better, so giving this series a try is worth it.
Ugly Duckling’s Love Revolution, Volume 1
by Yuuki Fujinari
Yen Press, 2010
Publisher Age Rating: Teen