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A Reader of Fictions: Family Tree - Ben Kweller

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, May 25, 2012

Family Tree - Ben Kweller

Baby Pop

Author: Yayoi Ogawa
Volumes: 2
Publisher: Not licensed in English; I read a scanlation on Mangafox (The cover shown is a French edition.)

Description from Mangafox:
Cool and gorgeous Nagisa paired with her perverted and stupid step-father Ryunosuke makes for a hip-hop story that presents a father and daughter who cannot be honest with each other.

The only reason I read this manga is because I love Tramps Like Us (Kimi Wa Petto), one of Yayoi Ogawa's other manga. This one held no other appeal for me. The cover and the subject is wholly unappealing. I hoped that there might be a similar charm to this series, but no such luck.

Baby Pop is about a girl stuck living with her stepfather after the death of her mother. I spent the whole manga worrying that this would turn out to be a romance between the two. This seemed a definite possibility given the character of Ryunosuke and the fact that Tramps Like Us is about a relationship with an age gap. Thankfully, this turned out not to be the case, or, at least, it didn't happen during these two volumes. Either way, my enjoyment was colored by that possibility. I was just creeped out all the way through.

The manga also isn't well-constructed. To some degree, this may be because of its brevity. Plot lines come and go (like a random kidnapping...is it possible to write a manga without a kidnapping scene? who knows?!) without ever really seeming to flow, and the ending just sort of happens. That's why I'm not sure if it was supposed to be trying to set the daughter and stepfather up for a romantic relationship. I was really surprised when I got to the end, because there was no resolution. I really don't know what the point of that was.

Nagisa is a strong girl, not emotional and definitely more under control than Ryo. However, I didn't connect with her at all, because she was so reserved. She seemed to be largely without a personality. I can see, I think, what she was trying to do. I suppose this was meant to be a sweet tale of Nagisa and Ryu forming a strong family bond despite the awkward circumstances in which they are left together. However, his manga was really just a fail. Give this one a pass.

Rating: 1/5

"But who am I to preach a word or two
when I can't lift my own head without you?
If my mental state kept you from coming around
I hope the world would shoot me down for losing you.
A broken branch I'd be if you weren't grown to me.

Oh, you are my family tree.

Be good to me.

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Blogger Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

Oh man. Between the cover and the synopsis, you had me cringing. LoL Glad to hear the first two volumes don't breach her and the perverted step dad but even so I think I will skip this one... just in case.

May 25, 2012 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oops. I was unclear. It's only two volumes. It just doesn't have a concrete ending, which may be intentional or the series could have been cancelled due to lack of interest. Who knows?

May 26, 2012 at 12:18 AM  

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