Title: NG Boy x Paradise
Author: MIYAWAKI Yukino
ChuChu Comics, 2006
Ahh, finally, NG Boy x Paradise! I am talking about this series today, not because it is all that amazing or wonderful (though it really is very cute) but because I am so happy to have finally finished it! You see, almost two years ago I bought a volume of this series at my local book store. I didn’t realize until I got home that the book I had bought was volume 2. (doh!) So I looked for volume 1 the next time I was at the store. Naturally, they had no copies of it. I spent the next year and a half looking for volume 1 at every Japanese bookstore I visited. No luck. This was driving me crazy. I couldn’t read volume 2 without reading volume 1 first! I realized that I was going to have to special order this book if I was ever going to get it. I was just on the verge of doing so when I FINALLY came across a copy at a Book-Off store in Costa Mesa. You have no idea how happy I was 🙂 I mean, it’s not even that this series is amazing, I was just really annoyed at having this random volume 2 floating around in my collection ^_^ Volume 3 was easier to find, and now I am the happy owner of a complete 3 volume set. Woo hoo!
Having said all that, I suppose I should talk about the series. ^_^; Well, ok, yeah, it is a fairly average (but cute) shoujo series aimed at younger girls. It also features one of these Japanese high schools that has a unique setup that I can’t imagine really exists in Japan.
Miu is an average high school girl. She reads lots of shoujo manga, and, as expected, dreams of meeting a guy as cool as the ones in her books. I chuckle at all of this now, but I bet that if I had read any shoujo manga back when I was her age, I would probably be like that too 🙂 Anyway, one day, when Miu was running laps around the campus (as a punishment for spacing out in class), she is almost run down by a motorcycle as she was jogging by the entertainment section’s exit gate. She is pretty shaken up by this event, but is otherwise okay. The person on the motorcycle turns out to be a really cute guy! He looks worried about Miu’s safety, but is happy when he realizes she is ok. As he leaves, Miu thinks that she has found her dream guy at last!
Oh, but this shoujo manga land, so things will not be so easy. You see, Miu goes to a high school that has a separate division or course for famous students in the entertainment industry. It caters to their unique daily schedules and helps train them for their work. They are kept entirely separate from the rest of the school. That guy who almost ran her down? His name is KAMISHIRO Manato, and he is a student in this celebrity course! He is a huge idol! He is an action star in dramas and commercials!
Of couse, Miu is clueless and did not realize the guy she met was famous. *sigh* There goes all her hopes of having found her dream guy. She really likes him, but she can’t possibly get close to him. …or can she? Miu has a slight advantage… her mom is the editor for a manga magazine. And this magazine is doing reports on one of Manato’s dramas! Yes! Even better, Miu’s mom asks Miu to come to the set to help out as an extra. She will get to see him again, and maybe she can return the earring she picked up off the ground after their earlier collision.
But things don’t go as expected when she is at the movie set. Manato, while being an amazing action actor, is not a nice guy. In fact, he is really rude, and acts like he doesn’t even know Miu when she tries to return his earring. What is going on? Things get even worse when she manages to scratch Manato’s face with the earring. Oh no! He really doesn’t like her now.
Poor Miu doesn’t think things can get any worse when she stumbles upon Manato again, but this time he is kissing an older woman! And wait a second… he doesn’t have a mark on his face from the earring! What is going on here! Obviously things are not as they seem. Could it be possible…. that there are TWO Manatos? Unfortunately, Miu passes out from the heat of the costume she was forced to wear as an extra, so she doesn’t find the answer to her question right away.
Instead she awakens in a strange bed, with Manato standing by her… and another Manato in bed with her! And… Miu is in her underwear and the Manato in bed with her is naked! Oh my! It seems that Miu has stumbled upon an incredible secret — the idol known as Kamishiro is actually two people, the twin brothers Manato and Mahiro! Manato does all the acting and hosting, while Mahiro does all the stunt work. This is a closely guarded secret, and now that Miu knows, Manato makes her swear not to tell anyone. If she does, he will spread around some awful photos he took of her in her underwear!
Miu is horrified, but Manato is determined to keep her mouth shut. He is also enjoying tormenting her. And he doesn’t stop there. He proclaims that Miu is going to work as his personal assistant and that she is going to transfer into the entertainment division at school and take class notes for him while he is away filming!
Manato is turning Miu’s life upside down! He has even manipulated it so she has to move in with him and Mahiro! This is awful! How will Miu get out of this crazy situation? How can she live with Manato and Mahiro? Mahiro is so quiet and menacing. He can be nice at times, but he has a past that he doesn’t want to talk about. And Manato is so mischievous! He even tells everyone at school that he and Miu are dating!
Yeah, this is not the most original series ever, but it is fun. I like Miu a lot. Her love of manga and anime shows up in things she says and in the way she reacts to things. She has a great 70’s shoujo manga pose that she strikes all the time when she gets excited about something. The art style used for her is slightly more 70’s style, and the pose is exactly the same each time. As for the guys, they both can be very appealing. I like Mahiro’s strong, steady, personality, but Manato’s up-beat, playful nature is cute too. Who will Miu choose?