Beauty Pop was created by Kiyoko Haku and released from 2003 to 2008. In america it was released trough Viz Media and their Shojo Beat title. The story fallows Kiri Koshiba a gifted hair stylist who has an aloof attitude about most things. She uses her gift as a hairstylist to help girls be happy and have more confidence in them selves. She does this all anonymously and never wants any credit for her work. Three other students at her school, Shogo Narumi, Kazuhiko Ochiai, and Kei Minami, are the Scissors Project (SP) who take already pretty girls and give them a make over. Much to her displeasure Kazuhiko often tries to get her to work with SP. After much hesitation and avoidance on Kiri’s part she is drawn into their world and starts working with SP.
For starters this manga is a very typical shojo. She main two characters, a boy and girl of course, don’t like like each other at first and are often butting heads. One, the girl or Kiri in this case, is aloof and almost can’t be bothered or fazed by anything. Anything that just doesn’t interest her is just ignored. The other, the boy Shogo, is load and isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box. He wants every one to like him and is very popular. The of course don’t like each other in the beginning and then start to grown on each other. In very manga fashion they are shown in the last chapter married with children. There are also many other boys that end up liking Kiri. She gives them no attention, but of course Shogo freaks out about it. Through out the story there is no real development in their relationship. They never date and you never hear a confession from either of them. They stop butting heads so much and start working together, but besides that they really never develop.
The story seemed to be cut short and felt like it should have gone on longer. There was a last few pages time skip that happens in so many shojo mangas. This wraps up every thing in the story by telling who ended up with who. But, honestly it is lazy writing. The author didn’t have to do any work. She didn’t have to make the characters fall in love or go over any hurtles to get there. It is very reminiscent of Ouran High Host Club. In more ways then one. The main characters are the same person just put into a different story and the relationship between the other characters are the same too. Many female characters like the lead male but he only likes the lead female. He of course doesn’t realize it till some one mentions it to him. The lead female acts as if she can’t be bothered with the crazy things the other characters but goes along with them any way for some reason or an other.
The story in the star for this manga. The story is really the only thing that changes and develops. That being said it was cut to short for any thing to be developed. There started to be good story lines, like Kiri having hurt her mom cutting her hair when she was a child and is still effected by it, or Shogo getting hurt and not being able to work as a hairstylist for a while, or some of the side characters starting to fall for each other. All these things would have been great to develop or go farther with but every thing remained just at the surface.
If you like simple shojo stories were the girl and the guy end up with each other in the end, then read this manga. It short only with 51 chapters and a few side stories. If you like beauty and make up it is also a good read. They don’t go deep in to the process but it does focus on hairstylist and a few other aspects of the profession. Also, Kiri’s cat is really cute.
Photo credit: Beauty Pop,Shogakukan, Viz Media