Graphic Novels & Manga

365 Days of Manga, Day 83: Walkin’ Butterfly



WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY (????????????) • Chihiro Tamaki • Aurora Publishing (2007-2009) • Kodansha (Vanilla, 2005-2007) • 4 volumes • Jôsei Modeling Drama • 16+ (language, nudity, sexual situations)
Michiko is a grease-monkey, motorcycle-riding high school dropout, an excessively tall tomboy who’s too shy to tell her friend Nishikino she loves him. When she accidentally stumbles backstage at a fashion show and is mistaken for a model, she has a fleeting taste of a different world, but is dismissed by aloof designer Ko Mihara, who tells her “You won’t last one step on that catwalk because you can’t see your true self.” Vowing to show Mihara, Michiko ends up working at a modeling agency run by a fortysomething alcoholic ex-model, and struggles to get her foot in the door of her new chosen career. The result is a fast-paced story of ups and downs, half comedy and half serious, like its mood-swinging heroine. The hyperactive tone, more than the pretty art, recalls Moyoco Anno’s Happy Mania, but Michiko’s virginity, and the romantic tension between her and designer (which in a sense devalues her goals of becoming a model) makes it seem more conventional and aimed at a younger demographic. Nonetheless, the fast-paced plot makes it an entertaining mixture of humor and melodrama.
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Today’s winner is Paul U. of Missouri. Congratulations, Paul!


5 Responses to “365 Days of Manga, Day 83: Walkin’ Butterfly”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible to have an archive of all the 365 day reviews from the first day to the current one?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible to have an archive of all the reviews of 365 days from the first day to the current one?

  3. J. Thomason says:

    Hello, it’s me again. I was wanting to enter the 365 days of manga contest, but when I looked at the rules, they seemed to say I had to be 18 to enter, and I won’t be 18 until late August, very near the contest’s deadline, when all the good manga will likely be gone. Do you really have to be at least 18 to enter? On a separate note, do you remember when I suggested that you make an alphabetical top twenty manga list, so that I could make a top ten manga list in the case that I make it as a comic artist and someone asks me about it? Well, I haven’t quite reached the point where I could make a top ten manga list, but I have a tentative idea for a top ten comics list. Check it out:
    1. Maison Ikkoku (Rumiko Takahashi)(1980)
    2. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki) (1982)
    3. Lone Wolf & Cub (Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojama)(1970)
    4. Devilman (Go Nagai)(1972)
    5. The Drifting Classroom (Kazuo Umezu)(1972)
    6. Maus (Art Speigleman)(1972 or 1980 or something)
    7. Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi)(2000)
    8. Calvin & Hobbes (Bill Watterson)(1985)
    9. Pogo (Walt Kelly)(1948)
    10. Peanuts (Charles Schulz)(1950)
    Whaddaya think? This is tentative because there are titles on here that I haven’t read yet, but look intriguing (which means if I end up not liking them, I’ll have to scrap this list and rework it). There are only three American comics on here because superhero comics and Archie comics aren’t for me, and I believe only a handful of American comic strips can be considered great (and I personally don’t think that old legacy strips like Blondie and Family Circus are among them, and I’m sorry for offending you if you like those strips). I haven’t read The Drifting Classroom, but I’ve read Lord of the Flies, and enjoyed it in an immensely disturbing way, so that could have potential for me. I read Devilman on OneManga.com, and I’m a bit conflicted on it, because on one hand, it is incredibly violent and juvenille, and it has one of the bleakest endings I’ve ever seen in any kind of story; but on the other hand, it’s brilliant in the fact that Nagai was able to get away with this in a children’s comic, and it reminds me a bit of Paradise Lost, which I’m reading in English class this year, and covers a subject that has always facsinated me. I don’t know if Lone Wolf & Cub is exactly my taste, but it looks interesting, and I could give it a try. I haven’t read enough European comics to really form an educated opinion of them, but I thought that including them would give the list a wider scope, and Maus and Persepolis look very intriguing. I’ve only read small portions of Pogo, but I like the fact that it was willing to use political satire in a medium that is pegged to be safe and inoffensive (hence, why many of the legacy strips are stale). The only ones I’ve really read aside from Devilman were Maison Ikkoku, Nausicaa, Calvin & Hobbes and Peanuts. Maison Ikkoku and Nausicaa are masterpieces to me, and arrows straight to my heart. I believe these to be the best comics ever written. I will always love these manga, and they will always be in the top two. Calvin & Hobbes was one of the first comics I ever read, and I believe it to be one of the best (if not THE best) American comic strips ever written. I like it’s detailed backgrounds, and the fact that the characters are real characters, not just characters intended to amuse us, and I like the fact that it’s willing to tackle serious issues, and the fact that it has an ending. It kind of reminds me of My Neighbor Totoro, except that Calvin & Hobbes takes place in the world we live in, and My Neighbor Totoro takes place in the world we should live in. Peanuts is an old strip, but I like the fact that Schulz did the whole thing by himself the entire run, and that he didn’t hand it off to someone else when he retired, just before he died. I also like how the strip deals with children’s insecurities and had thinly disguised social commentary in the ’60s and ’70s. Despite it’s slow start and slow end, I think it earns a place on my list. I also like Takahashi’s Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura, but I ommited them to make room for other artists. I also like Bloom County. I still have a lot of manga to explore and, again, your guide is a tremendous help, and I wish I could’ve entered the contest. Thank you for your time again, and sorry about rambling on. I was not made for Twitter.

  4. Hey J.! Thanks for posting your list. I have to admit I think picking just 10 best comics out of all the world’s comics & manga would be too difficult even for me. There’s just too many things out there… European comics, Chinese comics, Korean comics, lots and lots of countries whose comic/graphic novel output I am not so familiar with. About 10 years ago the magazine “The Comics Journal” did their picks of the 100 best comics in the world (which was interesting and included Peanuts and, I think, Pogo and Maus) but they had their own biases — I don’t think they included *any* manga, for one. I like your picks, though, they’re all excellent comics (including Bloom County). If you like Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis” (and I do too) I would recommend checking out David B.’s “Epileptic,” which has totally different subject matter but a very similar (and, I think, slightly better) art style. I too love Maison Ikkoku and Nausicaa and The Drifting Classroom, but there are other classic manga that are really great as well… The Rose of Versailles, Galaxy Express 999, Osamu Tezuka’s work, Shigeru Mizuki’s work, etc. Basically, there are sooooo many choices. I am going to be making a Top 10 list on suvudu later this year, but probably not of the Best Comics of All Time, or even the Best Manga. :) About 365 Days of Manga and being under 18 — you definitely *can* sign up even though you’re under 18, please go ahead and use the form on the left and just don’t click “I am over 18″ and it should work! Thanks for your comment, it’s interesting to read your picks!

  5. Hey J.! Thanks for posting your list. I have to admit I think picking just 10 best comics out of all the world’s comics & manga would be too difficult even for me. There’s just too many things out there… European comics, Chinese comics, Korean comics, lots and lots of countries whose comic/graphic novel output I am not so familiar with. About 10 years ago the magazine “The Comics Journal” did their picks of the 100 best comics in the world (which was interesting and included Peanuts and, I think, Pogo and Maus) but they had their own biases — I don’t think they included *any* manga, for one. I like your picks, though, they’re all excellent comics (including Bloom County). If you like Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis” (and I do too) I would recommend checking out David B.’s “Epileptic,” which has totally different subject matter but a very similar (and, I think, slightly better) art style. I too love Maison Ikkoku and Nausicaa and The Drifting Classroom, but there are other classic manga that are really great as well… The Rose of Versailles, Galaxy Express 999, Osamu Tezuka’s work, Shigeru Mizuki’s work, etc. Basically, there are sooooo many choices. I am going to be making a Top 10 list on suvudu later this year, but probably not of the Best Comics of All Time, or even the Best Manga. :) About 365 Days of Manga and being under 18 — you definitely *can* sign up even though you’re under 18, please go ahead and use the form on the left and just don’t click “I am over 18″ and it should work! Thanks for your comment, it’s interesting to read your picks!

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