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July 16, 2010

Bento Bako Bonus: Butterflies, Flowers vol. 2

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Written by: Kristin
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Title: Butterflies, Flowers (Chou Yo Hana Yo)
Author: Yuki Yoshihara
Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Volume: Volume 2 (of 8), $9.99
Vintage: The series began in 2006 from Shogakukan in Japan, volume 2 in April 2010 from Viz Media
Genre: Shojo, smutty romance, comedy, rated mature (for sexual content), office relationships

Choko Kuze’s family used to be rich, but they lost everything thirteen years ago and had to sell their home.  Now Choko has to find a job, and she ends up working in the Administration Department of a real estate company.  She works under Director Domoto, a very strict man in his late 20s, who often pushes her around as he attempts to whip the clumsy Choko into shape.  When a man bursts into the office and attacks Choko, Domoto runs to the rescue, crying out, “Milady!”  It turns out that Director Domoto is Masayuki “Cha-chan,” a former servant of her house who took care of her when she was a child.  His secret revealed, Domoto promises to protect Choko with his life.  While spending time with him, Choko begins to fall in love with Domoto, but is unsure of his feelings, worried that he is only expressing any sort of affection because he was her servant.  Domoto still sees her as the child he used to care for, but Choko attempts to convince him that she is an adult now.

In volume 2, a rival appears to impede Choko’s progress with Domoto.  The company president’s niece, Makie, is in love with Domoto and has asked her uncle to order Domoto to marry her, believing that he won’t refuse the command.  When Domoto rejects her outright, Makie starts hanging out in the office to try and change his mind.  When Choko explodes in a fit of jealousy, she fears Domoto will no longer care for her.  In response, Domoto takes Choko out to where her old home once stood, and reveals that he is working at the real estate company that owns the land so he can buy it back for her.  After asking Choko’s parents for permission, Domoto finally asks her out on an official date.  When a rain shower begins, their date is cut short, but things get steamy at Domoto’s house, where Choko goes to dry off.  Hoping to re-do their disastrous first attempt at sex, Choko decides to work hard to win the Rookie MVP contest at the office, to earn the travel vouchers offered up as a prize, in the hopes that she can go on a trip with Domoto.  Her co-workers try to help her the best they can, and even Domoto, clueless as ever in thinking she’s trying to win the prize for her parents, attempts to help.  Once Choko explains, Domoto responds by practically jumping her in the conference room where they are practicing for the contest.  To protect the company president from racketeers, Domoto and Suou must accompany him wherever he wants to go.  Worked to the bone by the president, Domoto collapses from exhaustion.  Choko decides to revive him through unconventional methods.  And it all ends on a “you’re way too big” joke.

Had to force my way through this one.  Everything about it is pretty mediocre, or just totally uninteresting.  The female lead is ordinary, the male lead doesn’t leave much of an impression, the art is average and generic, and the story is dull.  Now, I don’t mind a little smut every now and then, so that’s not my issue (although I think it’s ridiculous in this series; or maybe I’m just growing tired of the “virginal young lady” archetype).  But there’s just nothing pulling me in here, nothing to make me like the characters.  The art is adequate, but unimpressive, so it won’t pull you in with its visuals.  Choko’s sexual responses caused some eye rolls, like when she fainted while getting hot and heavy with Domoto (apparently because she’s a virgin), and then later tied him up to his bed to get her sex.  It’s all very silly, but the book takes itself too seriously.  Domoto himself is a bit inconsistent; he’s very strict about work being for work, and keeping it separate from their relationship, but he practically does her in a conference room.  He’s also supposed to have an almost split personality, playing the strict overseer at work, but protecting and treating Choko as a lady in “servant mode.”  That basically means violent and a tad cruel versus overprotective and submissive to Choko’s commands (when she’s in “rich young lady” mode).  The two personalities blend together quite a bit, and are not very distinctive in this volume.  Don’t even get me started on what all this nonsense means from a feminist stand point (“Masayuki, you’re working so hard!  Let me pleasure you so you’ll feel better.”).  If you really like office romance stories, it will probably fill your needs well enough.  Viz has done well with the translation, and even included a small glossary in the back for terminology.


Review copy provided by Viz Media.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack and Comic Attack, Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: New Review: Butterflies, Flowers vol 2 (@Viz_Media) @comicattack https://comicattack.net/2010/07/bbbbutterfliesflowers2/ #manga […]

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