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Flower in a Storm Vol. 2
by Shigeyoshi Takagi

I reviewed the first volume in this series last year; click here to read my thoughts.

After Ran Tachibana turned her life topsy-turvy, the dream of a normal life has slipped through Riko Kunimi’s fingers. She’s come to peace with that, though, and credits Ran for giving her the courage to embrace her true, freakish self. Riko’s scared to admit her feelings for Ran, though; the power hungry, high class world he races through like a storm overwhelms her. But when rivals for his heart and terrorists after Ran’s life threaten to take him away, Riko finds the strength to conquer and win the day.

Flower in a Storm only ran for two volumes, and this second book seems to be in a rush to finish. The spoiled daughter of a wealthy hotel magnate pops up to announce her engagement to Ran Tachibana, but some minor mayhem and explosions she’s back out of the picture without a serious impact to the story. Ran is kidnapped and disappears for a while, but ultimately he resurfaces unharmed and ready to resume his relationship with Riko. There just isn’t any character development; we’re told that Ran and Riko are deeply in love, but there isn’t much evidence to support that. I’d say they both seem more in love with the idea of a lover than the actual person, a la Romeo and Juliet.

The final chapters of Flower in a Storm don’t even take up the entire book; there’s a short story entitled “Warm to the Touch” filling out the final quarter of the pages. It’s a story about a high school student who can’t stand to be touched by other people, due to emotional trauma inflicted during childhood. The one person he allows to touch him is his biology teacher, because she treats him in a clinical, detached manner. He soon realizes that he’s falling in love with her, and in the process he’s slowly allowing other people to get closer. It’s a predictable story that could very easily exist in the same universe as Flower in a Storm. Heck, just for fun I’ll pretend that these are just two other random people in the school, and that while Riko and Ran are running rampant this other kid is slowly breaking free of his fear of people.

The art’s still nice, with very clean lines, uncluttered panels, and distinctive character designs. It’s pretty standard for the genre, and tells the story clearly.

2.5 out of 5 stars

To read more about Flower in a Storm Vol. 2, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.


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