Manga Review: Beauty Pop

I just finishing re-reading “Beauty Pop” because it came to mind that it was similar to Ouran High School Host Club — and, indeed it is. but without the twins. Kiri is =_= like Haruhi, Naru is the clueless crown prince with a mischievous father like Tamaki, Ochiai is the seemingly heartless megane shadow king like Kyouya, Kei is very child-like and loves sweets like Hani, and there’s also that big silent guy, Ken, who is like Mori.

Anyhow “Beauty Pop” is about a group of student who call themselves the Scissor Project (SP). SP is composed of two hair stylists (Kiri and Naru); Kei, who does nails; Ochiai, who does make-up; Iori, who does fragrances, and Ken who is a massage expert. They hold styling sessions at school to beautify girls so they can gain the confidence to confess to the boys they like. AUGH … if this was the crux of it, I would have stopped at volume one. However, what kept me reading were the engaging characters and the interactions between these characters inside of and outside of SP. The beautifying part is just a backdrop or an excuse to get these characters together. At some point most of the male characters (except for Kei) and even one female characters, have some sort of crush on Kiri at one time or another. But the real tension comes at the end between just to truly viable suitors.

I like this series, even though it runs a little long at 10-volumes. It’s very much like Ouran-lite — same basic set-up and characters, but with less drama, less complicated drama, and the humor isn’t as sophisticated. It’s basically something you could read to a 6 – 8-year old as a bed time story, if you are so inclined to read manga as a bed time story (I think it’s a good idea!). It follows, then, that I think this manga is appropriate for 8-11-year ‘tweens and older, and, for those adults who are still kids at heart (jaded, martini sipping adults, go find something else …).

This gets me back to Ouran … we’re all dying to know how it will end and what’s up with Kyouya, and for some reason I thought maybe I could get some clues from reading this “lite” version. Haha!!! I think we all know how Ouran will end. It’s just a matter of how we will get to the end and if we take Beauty Pop as a archetype, then the final obstacle in the road between Tamaki x Haruhi will be Kyouya. Hahaha!!! Personally, that’s what I’d like to see because I’m tired of Kyouya being treated as a souless money grubbing control freak. I want a reason for his control freakiness and I wanna see him blush!!!

Okay, back to Beauty Pop — in conclusion is a very cute story with engaging characters and a very non-threatening story line. For the 13 and under crowd, “‘tween-Kuroneko003” says, 4/5 because Kiri, Naru, and Occhi are so cute and sweet. Adult Kuroneko003 says 3/5 because in the end, it is rather mediocre and runs 6-volumes too long (the real story happens in the first and the last 3-volumes. The rest of it is filler).

Ratings: 4/5 and 3/5

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