Four-Eyed Prince Volume 1 by Wataru Mizukami
The plot device of “sudden siblings” can be entertaining when it is executed well. I love the manga Marmalade Boy, about a girl and a boy who are thrown together when their parents announce a bizarre spousal swap. The frisson of potential incest also kept the relationship between the protagonists of Wild Act extra spicy. Unfortunately Four-Eyed Prince uses the familiar plot device without bringing anything new to make it interesting.
Sachiko decides to confess her love to Akihito, her “Four-Eyed Prince.” While most of the other students at her school think he is cold and aloof, Sachiko things that he’s extra-hot due to the way he’s constantly adjusting his glasses. He tells her “I have no interest in you whatsoever.” As if she wasn’t having a bad enough day, Sachiko also has to go live with her mother, who she hasn’t seen in years. She bids goodbye to her ailing grandmother and goes to her mother’s house, only to be greeted by Akihito? He’s the son of Sachiko’s ex-husband and her new step-sibling. One day Sachiko decides to tail her her new brother and runs into a kindly, non-glasses wearing waiter named Akira. She is unfortunately too dense to realize that Akira and Akihito are the same person, but he hopefully spells it out for her. Now Sachiko is stuck with a hot stepbrother who appears to have a bad case of split-personality syndrome. The siblings gradually grow close through a school contenst and visit to a hot springs.
Mizukami’s character designs reminded me a lot of Arina Tanemura, but Misukami’s execution lacks the extra sparkles and ribbons found in a Tanemura book. While Four-Eyed Prince is competently done, it is lacking the spark of something extra that would make me care what happens to the characters. If I want to read the “sudden siblings” story over again, I think I’ll just stick to Marmalade Boy which is infinitely more charming than Four-Eyed Prince.