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A Reader of Fictions: Falling In - Lifehouse

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Falling In - Lifehouse

Marmalade Boy

Author: Wataru Yoshizumi
Volumes: 8
Publisher: Tokyopop

Brief Summary:
Miki's parents go on a holiday and, upon arriving home, declare that they are divorcing and marrying other people, also a married couple until this holiday. They are swapping spouses and the two families will live together in one house as one big happy family. Miki is, at first, extremely opposed to this admittedly ludicrous plan and expects, Yuu, the son of the other former couple, to be just as put out as she is. When he's not, she starts to think maybe it is best to just let her parents be happy, even if the situation is somewhat unconventional. An even bigger problem soon arises in her attraction to Yuu, since her mother warned her not to fall for him...

Review:
For the most part, Marmalade Boy is a sweet shoujo romance series, of the kind I have come to expect from Wataru Yoshizumi. She is one of my preferred mangakas, although not exactly a favorite as a couple of her series really annoy me. Still, she has a really cute art style, likable characters and a fun sense of humor. That is true of this series, however the overarching plot line just makes me so mad. If you want to know why, keep readind, but be aware that there are SPOILERS ahead.

I have read a lot of manga, so I am aware of a lot of the common themes and, from this, I know that the Japanese really love tales of forbidden love. For example, manga plots about student/teacher romances and brother/sister romances are very popular. Both of these are found in Marmalade Boy. Neither is a plot line I particularly enjoy. The former is done with a touch of class, I think, and feels as un-creepy as such a thing can, largely because of the serious maturity of the female student involved.

Sometimes the brother/sister thing is just step siblings, as appears to be the case at the outset of Marmalade Boy. This is somewhat taboo, what with having their names on the same family register, but is totally fine from a genetic standpoint. In Marmalade Boy, Yuu and Miki come to suspect that they may actually be related to one another by blood (half siblings). In response to this, they break up, but then decide that they cannot bear being apart, so they will marry anyway (since they're not legally considered siblings).

Excuse me? Why would anyone ever do that? They're not sure if they're related, but they just go with that assumption. This whole plot line could have been easily nipped at the bud had they just gone to get a blood test. How hard is that? I mean, I hate needles and avoid them when I can, but, for this, I'm pretty sure I would be more than willing to get stabbed with one. Come on, people, use your brains!

So yeah, not my favorite of hers, but you should definitely check out some of the others. Oh, and in case you're curious about the title, it's a reference to Yuu and how he seems sweet but is a little bit bitter once you get to know him, like marmalade.

"Everytime I see your face
My heart takes off on a high speed chase
Now don't be scared, it's only love
Baby, that we're falling in"

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