Butterflies, Flowers, Vol. 6-7
written by Yuki Yoshihara
For the most part, Butterflies, Flowers is a very funny series. It takes many things involved in relationships and exaggerates and makes them humorous. Choko’s boyfriend Masayuki used to be her servant, but now that she’s a grown woman with a job, he’s her boss. They manage to balance career and relationship.
Masayuki is a serious character, which makes it especially funny when he’ll suddenly act outrageous, like wanting to torch something just because he doesn’t like it. Characters also seem aware that they’re in a manga, because on rare occasions they comment on a background not looking right or say something happened in a different chapter. It doesn’t feel weird, but rather goes well with the overall humor.
Likewise, Butterflies, Flowers can have more serious moments, and for the most part, these work as well. Choko is envious of the fact that Masayuki had a girlfriend before her, even if she tells herself it’s silly to worry about this and Masayuki assures her everything is fine. But then, to add insult to injury, his former girlfriend gets a new job at their workplace! Now Choko has to see her every day and the former girlfriend is still interested in Masayuki, causing her vindictive side to come through. Yoshihara isn’t afraid to show the unpleasant parts of relationships.
However, there is one thing in volume seven I had a major problem with. Another man at the workplace likes Choko, and after she repeatedly rejects him, he drugs her and undresses her. She wakes up before anything else can happen, and Masayuki shows up and punches the man in the face. Characters talk a little bit about this incident afterward, then the story continues as if nothing happened.
And that bothered me. It’s as if the characters are saying, “Well, he didn’t actually rape her, so it isn’t that big of a deal.” It is a big deal. The character took advantage of her. This is fiction, but readers should know that if something like this happens in real life, it needs to be reported to the police. Ignoring molestation and rape only makes things worse.
After this unsettling part of the story, Butterflies, Flowers returns to being enjoyable. But that one part really bothered me, and it didn’t even feel as if it were needed in the story. I wish it weren’t part of the manga, because the manga would be much better without it.