Flower of Life Volume 1

Written by Fumi Yoshinaga
Illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga
Digital Manga Publishing

Someone somewhere (can't remember where) recommended this one, so I figured I'd check it out, especially since I liked the premise of Antique Bakery. We are of course in the high school focusing on teenage angst. There's a set of adulterous teachers, some mean kids, some standoffish kids, and so forth. They try to deal with each other as best they can and sometimes that doesn't always work. For instance, our main character Hanazono, is open about his leukemia recovery, but it means that the rest of the class is always compensating. Another character, with weight issues, tries hard not to stand out any more than the obvious, but has trouble as a result.

The problem is that, while they all have quirks, nothing really grabs me or compels me to want to keep active with these characters. The self-references to manga are cute and realistic, but it's nothing more than a mild chuckle. And, as with Bakery, the characters are a little too crudely shaped and vocalized for my taste. I'll try one more of this to see where it goes, but right now, it's in the "typical shojo" category that just won't hold my eyes any more.