Friday, October 9, 2015

Shojo a Go-Go: Komomo Confiserie

Father knows best is a rather antiqued trope that was rather prevalent in the 1950's but has mostly been dropped being played straight for the utterly sexist undertones. Basically akin to always being right and being able to sort out the silly problems of the doting housewife and children. A variation of this trope with likes to pop it's head into shojo/joesi manga and is usually played straight with the boyfriend of the main girl just knowing better and being a jerk about it. Blue Spring Ride and Happy Hustle High are good examples of the trope in effect. Komomo Confiserie seems to have this going on in this story of role reversal.

Komomo Confiserie tells the tale of a young girl,Komomo, who in her youth was wealthy and often picked on the young baker,Natsu, in employ of her father. Now it's ten years later and she's poor,he's successful and she is at his mercy. The volume is mostly for setting up who's who and the character dynamics. It seems to be mostly focused on helping Komomo grow as a person under Natsu's sadistic thumb. This is where we run into some of the more disturbing implications of the volume.

Natsu's desire to tease Komomo is creepy and he's is never truly treated as wrong for his acts. He hates the idea of anyone teasing her besides him and takes on your typical threatening poses if someone does. It's clear he's doing the teasing to help her adjust to life as a average person and the book will probably justify it as the only way she would learn. However his friend Yuri joins the cast and is able to teach her a lesson through kindness and it sticks. So it seems to be less the only way to get through to her and Natsu likes to just mess with a girl because he can't admit his feelings. No matter the interpretation it's just not that interesting to me,this may be due in part to the last chapter leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

The final chapter of the volume introduces the coveted school setting and with it come your stock shojo bullies. Apparently after Yuri taught Komomo about real friendship she became a saint because nothing seems to phase her during the bullying. She just writes it off in a way that is rather mature for a character who really shouldn't be that mature just yet. She's had some development over the volume but no where near enough to justify this attitude,so she becomes some what of a purity-sue. Sure she questions herself later with Natsu about her treatment of him in their youth but it's assuring her that she meant well in the end.


In all honesty,this isn't a bad opening volume. Everything is set-up well enough till the last chapter.Even if the last chapter was handled better it's still nothing really special. Natsu's attitude towards Komomo has this nasty undertone that is going to be given an excuse about how it was all for her betterment. Combined with Komomo's baffling new found maturity leaves me with no desire to read.

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