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Zig*Zag: Vol. 1    by Yuki Nakaji order for
by Yuki Nakaji
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Yuki Nakaji has two manga series that have just been released stateside. Tokyopop's offering is Zig*Zag, a fun, romantic shojo that revolves around boys and flowers.

Short, feminine Takaaki Asakura is always being mistaken for a girl, but that does nothing to dampen his bubbly personality. When he starts school at Seifu Private Academy, he learns he is rooming with Sonoh Kirihara, a handsome, yet brooding, older twin who has been kicked out of his house. Takaaki is determined to get Sonoh to come out of his shell, but also has plenty else to do, like his flower hobby. He also has to attend classes, where he comes in contact with the few girls who attend Seifu, which has only recently gone co-ed. Among these girls are his friend's crush (who seems to have an unrealized crush on Sonoh), a tomboy with whom Takaaki always argues (might be a crush there, too), and his friend's cousin who helps Takaaki sell flowers (a possibly budding crush on Takaaki's part?) Through it all, Takaaki learns that Sonoh is more than he seems, and that they might even share an interest. Volume 1 ends just as happily as it began, but with plenty of romances poised to possibly bloom in the next volume.

With Zig*Zag, Nakaji creates the perfect romance for younger teens. Everything is clean and sweet, but full of trepidation in dealing with members of the opposite sex. Only one character ever comes out and says specifically who he likes, but the reader knows who all of the other characters are crushing on due to their reactions. Nakaji does an excellent job of portraying these emotions through facial expressions that need no words to explain them. All her artwork, which is light and airy, fits very well with the mood of the story. If this first volume is any indication, Zig*Zag promises to be a fun, light teen romance that will have readers picking their favorite characters and rooting for them. I am very interested to see where Yuki Nakaji takes the series.

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