Manga-ka: Yuki Yoshiara
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: November 2011
Synopsis: “Choko Kuze is in a relationship with Masayuki Domoto, her current boss and former servant. Their relationship has withstood interference from the Senior Director as well as Masayuki’s ex-girlfriend. But now Choko is facing an arranged marriage by her father, and Masayuki is doing nothing to stop it…?!”
I can see how this ending is supposed to signify some big turn of the table, a testament to how far the couple has come. That Choko is the one who spends page after page chasing after Masayuki with marriage papers was definitely something, showcasing that their relationship, after seven volumes of ‘growing’, is still decided by one side’s incessant demands. Could it be they haven’t really come very far at all..!?
I enjoy reading Butterflies, Flowers. Not as much as I used to perhaps for the aforementioned reasons, but there’s still a lot of circumstantial humour to appreciate and sexual hijinks to grin at in these over the top contexts.
This final volume opens with Choko struggling to find a way out of an arranged marriage. She expects that the possessive Masayuki will have plenty to say on the matter but is stunned when he pushes it as a good idea. After all, he’s still servant class. …seriously? This is as frustrating for readers as it is for Choko. After all the muss and fuss he makes over wanting nothing more than to be with her, he still falls back on the whole ‘I’m just a servant’ kick? Quirks can make a character, sure, but a line needs to be drawn when it starts suffocating them like a ball and chain around the neck.
Of course the situation works itself out and in a way so amusingly crude that even readers expecting something like it could be thrown for a loop. The re-emergence of their roles situation sets the tone for the rest of the book too. This includes another flashback to their childhood and Choko taking steps to try and tear down the wall of social hierarchy between them once and for all. After all, how can they be husband and wife if Masayuki keeps flipping back to being servant and master (and not in the S&M way, oddly enough for him).
After the two deal with a sale that could see the loss of Choko’s family land, the big M word finally springs up. After all the badgering and the months of living and sleeping together, the two have marriage on their minds. A fancy dinner, a shiny ring – the pieces were all in place until Masayuki actually thought of what marriage would mean. Masayuki suddenly doesn’t want to get married because that would mean he’s in the same social class as Choko. At the same time, all we’ve really seen since the get-go is how controlling and ‘above her’ he carries himself despite his pretty words.
While there are still plenty of laughs to be had reading this final volume of Butterflies, Flowers, it’s hard to get around how ridiculous the idea of these two getting married is. They’re not a good couple, they never really had been. Puppets for our entertainment, of course, but a couple you’d ever expect or want to see in real life? Heck no. On the other hand, marriage is the only real ending this series could of have and, to its credit, it handles it’s final few pages well – they’re even genuinely sweet!
And so we see off Butterflies, Flowers – the kind of fun and trashy story you can only really read and enjoy if you acknowledge it as such. I hope this series did well enough that we’ll see more grown-up romance at least. I’m up for more of the comedic kind too, though I think we can do well without the stalking harassment.
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Book bought from Strange Adventures