Kodansha Comics, 2000
I wasn’t expecting to find this at the store, before I spotted it on the shelf I didn’t even know it existed. But once I took a look at this volume I knew I had to get it 🙂 This manga is by Yu YABUUCHI, the manga author of another favorite manga of mine, ‘Mizuiro Jidai’ (Aqua Age/Bluegreen Years). Yabuuchi-sensei’s art style is so incredibly cute! The characters in this look to be about the same age as those in ‘Mizuiro Jidai’, yet they sometimes seem older. The art style in this occasionally reminds me of Detective Conan for some reason. O_o Anyway, glancing at the synopsis on the back cover I knew this would probably be a winner too.
This volume starts of well with several pages of color artwork, most of it a combination of traditional illustration and computer CG. The pictures feature the manga characters imposed over real-life photographs of places, so it looks like they are actually there. The pictures are great! Anyway, now for the story! Akira is a cute jr. high school boy who has a great singing voice that his sister is always raving about. She thinks his voice sounds like an angel’s and in a truly sister-like fashion, she plots to get her younger brother into a dress and wig so she can see him look like an angel while he sings too ^_^ So at home one day after school, she gets Akira to sing karaoke, and then dresses him up in a frilly dress and a wig of long hair!
Nearby, a talent scout hears a beautiful clear voice. He follows the sound and can hear Akira’s singing coming out of Akira’s house. He is thrilled to see the voice belongs to the girl in the cute dress. But Akira tears the wig off and insists that he is a boy. After a moment of thought, the talent scout begs to recruit akira to be the next new FEMALE idol singing sensation! Akira refuses at first, but finally relents when he realizes he may get the chance to meet Ruri, a currently popular female idol singer. And thus “Mizuki” is born, the angelic new GIRL idol singer! Watch the fun as Akira attempts to be a female idol, and is surrounded by girls who like him or hate him in his various identities! This story is pretty much complete in this one volume. However, there are two more volumes of this series, each with a very similar plot of a boy becoming a female idol singer, but each story is told in a different way.
Update (2004): There are now 7 volumes of this series, each one with a different main character name. The first volume is simply ‘Shoujo Shounen’ but the rest of them are: Shoujo Shounen – KZAUKI, YUZUKI, TUGUMI, MINORI, NOZOMI, etc. They all have the SAME general premise… cute schoolboy is scouted by (the same) talent scout and ends up becoming a cross-dressing idol. Amazing how long the author can play with the same idea over and over again ^^ This series was published one volume a year, and I now have 7 of these @_@. The artwork gets progressively better and better and more and more insanely cute as it goes along. I loooove the artwork! Adorable! Yabuuchi-sensei’s CG coloring skills get a lot better as she goes along, too. You can really notice a difference! From what I can decipher, volume 7 will be the last of the regular yearly volumes of this, but I think there sill be a new series with this theme starting soon in a more normal publishing schedule format.