Butterflies, Flowers Volume 2 by Yuki Yoshihara
I really like this series. I thought the first volume was fun but volume two spends more time exploring the budding relationship of “lady” turned office worker Choko and servant turned sadistic boss Masayuki. At work Choko sees Masayuki calmly reject the advances of other women. But when the niece of the company CEO turns up and announces that she’s selected Masayuki for her husband he isn’t able to quickly turn her down. Choko is dismayed when she observes Masayuki hanging out with another woman. One of the things I like about the series is the sudden shifts in personality for both characters. Choko slips from being a calm office worker into chibi mode, where she’s drawn to look vaguely like an angry hippo in a suit. Masayuki is a secret otaku, making references to Initial D and talking about the differences between various Gundam theme songs.
Butterflies, Flowers easily moves from workplace comedy to more touching moments, as Masayuki takes Choko back to the place where her family’s estate used to be. He announces that he’s determined to restore her family’s land, because he’s looking for a place that feels like home again. The couple begins to officially date, but they run into issues in the bedroom. I enjoy the way Yoshihara is able to switch back and forth between a touching moment of the couple confessing their feelings to broad slapstick comedy. The manga never feels inconsistent in tone. I still enjoy Yoshihara’s “evil faces” the most. The way a shadow will fall across Masayuki’s face when he’s grimly plotting his next move is hilarious.
I hope this series sells well. This is exactly the type of manga that I’d like to see more of. It deals with sex in a funny way, being more mature than what you’d find in a typical title from the Shoujo Beat imprint but it doesn’t go into the sometimes excessive territory of something like the titles published by the Aurora Luv Luv line. Yoshihara has a wicked sense of humor and she’s created a couple that I feel like rooting for.