Butterflies, Flowers Volume One is a manga by Yuki Yoshihara, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2009. The series is rated “M” for Mature, which means that it’s a title being aimed at adults. After reading this first volume, I only found one piece of dialogue and one situation that would fall into this rating category. However, I expect the series has rating due to the content in future volumes of the series.
The female protagonist of Butterflies, Flowers is Choko Kuze, a young woman who had been part of a wealthy family until her father’s failure in the real estate business caused the family to go into bankruptcy when Choko was younger. Choko has just been hired as an entry-level office worker, and her new male supervisor, Masayuki Domoto, is sexually harassing her and working her harder than many of the other staff members. It turns out that Masayuki and his family had been servants for Choko’s family until the servants were dismissed; not only that, but Choko had been really fond of Masayuki, although she only knew him under the nickname of Cha-Chan. After Choko discovers Masayuki’s identity, she begins to fall in love with him; however, it’s not entirely clear if he returns those feelings.
From the storytelling, it’s obvious that Butterflies, Flowers is being aimed at an older female audience. In the writing of this manga, Yoshihara has created characters that the reader can care about. Even though I could sense the sexual tension between Choko and Masayuki, and at times thought that Masayuki came across as a bit of a jerk, I still found myself rooting for these two characters to be together. By the end of the volume, I wanted to read the next volume to find out where the story goes next.
When it comes to the art, Yoshihara has effectively combined detailed artwork with some of the tropes associated with shojo manga (“shojo” is a genre aimed at a female audience). My only real complaint with the artwork comes with the times when Choko is depicted in a more chibi and superdeformed appearance at times when she feels defeated. The “chibi” version of Choko has much less detail than the other characters and her surroundings, and this “chibi” appearance just looks out of place in comparison with the rest of the art included in this volume.
I would recommend Butterflies, Flowers to female manga readers who are eighteen years of age and older.