I Just finished reading the first volume of Imadoki, the most recently translated manga by Watase Yu. It is a bit of a change for her, more of a typical high school story without any overtones of fantasy or horror.
Tanpopo is accepted into an elite high school. She breaks into school grounds before the first day of school to check everything out, and meets Koki, a boy with an Osaka accent who seems strangely fixated on planting a dandelion. She’s delighted because she thinks she’s made a friend at her new school, but when she arrives for the first day of school Koki acts like he doesn’t know her and his accent has dissapeared! He is the most influential student at the high school. The other students quickly gang up on Tanopopo like a pack of evil hyenas wearing school uniforms.
Tanpopo is determined to make Koki her friend. She has a Pollyannaish disposition that I usually find extremely irritating in fictional characters. If I ever met Pollyanna I’d be tempted to beat her around the head with a shovel, or at least duct tape her mouth shut. Tanpopo is not as irritating as Pollyanna because she is extremely tenacious in her pursuit of friendship. She is so tenacious, I began to wonder if she was mentally unstable or at least very goofy. While I am not fond of sunny optimists, I find the deranged and goofy very sympathetic.
Koki seems like a stereotypical poor little rich boy at first, but his inexplicable affection for plants makes him a little quirky. Will these two kids ever get together? Will they be able to garden on the school grounds? Will the other students stop doing unspeakable things to Tanopopo’s desk? I think that Imadoki is a five volume series, so it won’t take too long to find out.