For Tanpopo Yamazaki, life at the elitist Meio Academy seems way out of her league. The daughters of wealthy families snub her, other students make light of the fact that she actually tested into Meio instead of relying on family connections, and the cute boy she saw tending a dandelion the day before wouldn't even acknowledge her existence. Hoping to make friends and have some fun, Tanpopo starts up a gardening committee, but will this help her survive in a school where superficiality and nepotism reign supreme?
This is probably the simplest series by Yuu Watase: there's no fantasy, no magic, no adventure, no science fiction. Just a really heart-warming and moving story about a cheerful girl called Tanpopo who transfers to a very exclusive school where she expects to make friends and live happily. On her first visit there, she mets a boy who is taking care lovingly of a dandelion and seems to like gardening. Tanpopo thinks she's made her very first friend...
However, reality proves to be a lot harsher. Her new school turns out to be full of onnoxious people who care more about social status and money than friendship, and because Tanpopo lacks boths, she's soon tagged as a "weed". Not just that, the boy she had met the previous day is none other than Kouki Kugyou, the richest guy of the school, cold hearted and unapproachable and he doesn't want to do anything with her.
Tanpopo of course is not going to just sit there and weep. She's determined to make friends even if it means create something as outrageous as a gardening club to peak Kouki's interest.
Just because I said this story was simple, compared to other Watase's works, doesn't mean that its plot or characters are superficial. On the contrary, the gallery of people that fill Imadoki! is wonderfully drawn and developed. The characters are rich, complex and lovable. The story, about friendship, love and authenticity, is full of funny situations but also there's angst and pain as each character learns to bloom for whom they are and to trust in others.
The story is inspiring and hard to forget. I read this manga three years ago and still remember vividly how it made me feel once I finished it. I certainly recommend it for any shoujo fan out there.read more
After reading Fushigi Yugi by Watase, I have been captivated by her work. Not only is the art good, not only is the story good, and not only are the characters believable, but the very ideas she shares through her work are thought-provoking and inspirational. Imadoki is no exception to this.
The story might not be epical, might not work on as many levels as Watase's Fushigi Yugi, but it's just as charming and meaningful. It manages to remind us that we all have different ways of "blooming", of showing who we are, and different reasons to smile. It's not a long manga, so there are no fillers at all. The story is simple, works at a steady pace which keeps you wanting to read on. This is one to remember, despite not being totally unique.
The characters are all wonderful; Tanpopo is particularly individual within the story, and a typical Watase woman - very much like the main female in Absolute Boyfriend. She's hated, yet keeps on smiling, and you later find out why. Despite her hardships, she keeps on shining and blooming like the flowers she loves (I'm writing in a cheesy style like the one in the book, so you better not hate it. ;))
The art is possibly Watase at her best. All her characters are so different; to one another and to Watase's previous characters. There are some times where she even draws with a realistic quality.
I enjoyed every moment while reading this manga. I'd say more, but my vocabulary is currenly limited; don't ask me why. I'd recommend it to any Watase fan, and anyone who loves a deep, romantic plot with a charming moral and sweet main character.read more
This manga is more realistic than Yuu Watase’s other work. This manga is a simple story about a simple country girl who helps change a technology ran and expensive high school. Yuu Watase’s art is always very nice and it’s clear what’s going on in the story. The characters are easily defined, visually, and it’s easy to tell them apart from the background characters.
As far as the writing, though, it’s good at first. The romance is pretty clear between Tanpopo and Koki, the male lead and there is an actual friendship between the two. Not only that, it’s clear that there’s a friendship between the characters (especially Aoi, Arisa, and Tsukiko) and it doesn’t really feel forced although Aoi’s pranks do go a bit far sometimes where it’s almost unbelievable.
For their personalities, though, they’re unique and not just cookie-cutter. Tanpopo really is one of a kind where she’s always smiling, even while she’s being bullied at first, and she always tries her best to inspire her friends.
The manga comes almost to a halt, though when they find Youji, Kouki’s older brother who had disappeared a couple years prior. It also drags a little bit more when Erika, the obligatory fiancee, shows up. It would have been nice if there was some mention of it before (or at least a rumor of Kouki having a finance spreading around – even if Tanpopo never really pays gossip any mind, it still would have been better off hinting at it) or at least something that headed towards that direction.
It does end up having a “pair everyone off” issue at the end after Tanpopo decides to go back to Hokkaido after her grandfather faints. Honestly, I wasn’t really completely disappointed by the ending – it would have been a lot nicer and more fun if Tanpopo stayed in Tokyo (and really, get rid of Erika and her last conversation) but it’s still a pretty decent ending, nevertheless. It’s not too bad but others might have an issue with it.
The comedy, though, is pretty funny and a lot of it is deadpan humor and puns. Overall, this manga doesn’t require a lot of thought but it does get you invested in these characters’ relationships with Tanpopo herself, though not so much with each other.
It’s a simple manga that’s fun to read when you just want a simple romance manga. I’d recommend it to those who especially love the country girl in the big city type of manga.read more
I really enjoy reading this. I read the first book on the day i bought it and 3 days later i bought the next 3, and read them all on that day, then bought the last one when i was able to get into town.
I very much enjoy Yuu Watase's work, Ive read this, Absolute Boyfriend, part of Fushigi Yūgi.
I do recommend reading this, as much as i read alot of "romance" manga, this one was different to the others in its own way.
I loved the story and it made me really want to read all of the volumes.