Flower in a Storm Volume 1 by Shigeyoshi Takagi
Flower in a Storm has plenty of ridiculous action and romance, making it an ideal summer read. Riko is the heroine who (say it together with me!) just wants a normal high-school life. Unfortunately she is gifted with physical abilities way beyond a normal high school girl and she always seems to stand out. Previously a boy rejected her declaration of affection after he saw her competing with the boys on school sports day, so Riko tries to downplay her abilities. Unfortunately her days of anonymity are over when the heir to a mega corporation Ran Tachibana bursts into her classroom and proposes marriage. Several weeks ago Riko avoided an accident with Ran’s vehicle by leaping several feet up in the air and landing on the hood of his car. Ran was instantly smitten. He announces to Riko that she’ll have to be his if he manages to capture her by 5 o’clock and the chase begins.
The art in Flower in a Storm is dynamic and stylish. Several panels look like frames from an action movie. Ran appears dressed up in a suit, flanked by bodyguards holding guns. He frequently visits Riko’s school via helicoptor. I appreciated Takagi’s attention to detail with her character designs. Ran seems to change his expensive glasses for every story. Ran and Riko’s progress in romance is derailed by Ran’s arrogant personality and the fact that he’s also a target for corporate assassins. Even though Riko’s longing for normalcy is a very famliar manga heroine character trait, it was fun to see a shoujo heroine being so physically dynamic. She jumps out of three story high windows, kicks a gun out of an assassin’s hands, and jumps out of a moving car. Ran’s persistence and genuine caring for Riko causes her to gradually develop feelings for him. At two volumes, it looks like this series will be short and sweet. I’m interested in reading more of Takagi’s work if it is licensed here.