Monday, May 24, 2010

Manga Monday: Stepping On Roses

Stepping On Roses (Volume 1)
Rinko Ueda

New from Viz is this shojo manga from Rinko Ueda, featuring a girl in a fairy tale dream, lifted up from the starving poor class to live with a rich, handsome man in the elite class...too bad Sumi Kitamura is more miserable than ever now.  Before she was plucked from the streets and offered riches beyond her wildest imagination, Sumi lived with her brother who, on top of a gambling problem, brought home orphans for Ruki to raise, even though they hardly had enough between them to eat properly.  On top of that, they have loans coming out of their ears and their landlady is threatening to throw them out if they don't pay their rent immediately.  But Sumi loves her family and will go to any length to help them survive, which is why she met the man of her dreams, a handsome gentleman who gave her money to help pay for medicine for a sick little girl, when she was lying in the street crying out for help.  It's also why she nearly sold herself into prostitution to raise money to help them out of their predicament.  But along comes a handsome man, willing to make her troubles go away, if she agrees to marry him.  Unfortuantely, the cold, cruel man bullies her and torments her, and it seems that this new life she has chosen for herself is worse than the one she left behind, especially as she misses her family very much.  I never read Tail of the Moon by Rinko Ueda, but her art here is pretty impressive, with great detail to background and the fashion of the time that this story takes place during, particularly impressive being the architecture she depicts.  As far as stories go, this is certainly the rags-to-riches sort of story we've heard before, and so far, there's not much going for it to set it apart aside from the nice artwork.  It is an enjoyable little story, but don't expect much in terms of originality or characterization.

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