Margaret Comics, 1998
Sure the cover looked cute enough, but I really did buy this one totally at random. I had never heard of the manga artist, and I had absolutely no idea what the story was about. The art style on the cover was pretty cool though, with this sort of two-tone color look. After reading it, I was happy (as usual) that I got it 🙂 The art through the volume is very nice, with solid lines (as opposed to a wispy, scratchy style), and hey, the guy is really cute! There are a couple of scenes where the way the artist draws profiles seems a bit strange, but for the most part it is all good. As for the story? Well it has 2 of my favorite shoujo manga plot devices: idol/rock singers and student-teacher relationships.
Only in shoujo manga can things like this actually happen 🙂 One day a girl named Koyori FUJIMOTO is pulled out of a crowd watching a magic act on the street and is forced to participate by getting into the ‘Miracle box’ and being made to ‘disappear’. What really happens to her is she suddenly finds herself being carried over the shoulder by someone, down a ladder into the sewer below the street. The guy is part of the magical act. When Koyori gets a good look at the guy, she is stunned at how good looking he is, and by his brilliant green eyes. The guy looks startled to see her too and tries to get away. Koyori is fascinated by him and asks his name, and he tells her it’s ‘Yuki’ and then he rides off on his motorcycle. (He really does look cool :). At school the next day, Koyori is preoccupied by thoughts of Yuki, but she also catches a few glimpses of the classmate guy she likes, Shuu-kun. We see that Koyori’s class is taught by a very geeky looking guy with glasses named Nagase-sensei. Walking home later, Koyori runs into the magician from the magic act, and he shows her a club where Yuki is at. Koyori realizes that Yuki is a very popular guy, and the lead singer for a rock band called ‘Road King’. The girls at the club think Koyori is cute and decide to give her a make-over. Koyori turns out looking very adorable, even Yuki is impressed.
But at school, Shuu-kun is not very impressed with her new look.(Not that he really paid any attention to Koyori in the first place) Koyori is really depressed and in her distraction, she runs into her teacher in the hallway. She falls to the ground, as does he, and his glasses go flying and break. When Koyori looks up at her teacher to apologize for running into him, we see that her teacher is actually none other than Yuki in disguise! (Isn’t it great? ^_^) This begins a strange adventure for Koyori as Yuki recruits her into his show business world, intending to transform her into the next sensational teen idol! Koyori is just happy that she gets to be with Yuki again ^_^;; Meanwhile, some classmates are beginning to wonder what is going on with Koyori and this mysterious Yuki guy…’Countdown’ is a cute and fun shoujo series. It looks like there are only 2 volumes total to the story. I only have volume 1 so far, but it is definitely not over at the end of the volume, so I will soon be off to locate volume 2 🙂