Stepping On Roses (Shoujo) Written and Illustrated by Rinko Ueda – Rating: 7/10
Synopsis: Stepping on Roses is a dramatic historical romance set in the Meiji era. Sumi Kitamura is a ditsy but tenderhearted lass who has the responsibility of providing for several unfortunate children on her own. Her older brother, Eisuke, is a philandering opportunist who does nothing but increase Sumi’s burdensome responsibilities. When a loan shark threatens to sell her adopted siblings into slavery, Sumi has no choice but to find and sacrifice herself to a man of reasonable means in order to save her family…. She ultimately finds a very wealthy young man, Soichiro Ashida, who is willing to pay handsomely for her services but has one condition; she must be willing to marry him without any expectations of love or affection. Desperate to save her impoverished family she quickly agrees to this marriage of convenience and is unceremoniously thrown into an unfamiliar world of aristocracy, greed, and lust.
Tone: Sumi, who is hilariously ignorant of life outside of abject poverty, can be counted upon to lighten the mood for this psychological romance. Her brother Eisuke also provides a bit of relief with his unapologetically lewd behaviour and his overly positive attitude despite his family’s struggles. Soichiro’s butler also brings some light humour to the chapters with his silly master complex and general flamboyance. Many times however, annoying doses of melodrama is introduced into the chapters. This in itself could be a definite turn off for persons who cannot stand overly dramatic characters who often suffer from paroxysms of rage and general lunacy.
Artwork: Rinko Ueda’s artistry in this shoujo is exceptional. A lot of detail goes into just about everything, especially the characters’ appearance. Case in point: Sumi’s regal dresses and her long golden tresses. The male characters, Soichiro and Nozomu are very boyish in appearance. They are ‘pretty’ at best but I wouldn’t say that they are very handsome. Sumi and a few girls like her are apart of the itty bitty titty committee, so if abnormally big breasted females annoy you then you’ve picked the right manga. As for paralanguage, the mangaka will surely fool you into thinking that her characters are genuinely amicable and obliging with their perfect smiling faces and welcoming body language. From an architectural standpoint in the Meiji era, you might notice some western influence in the way some of the buildings are designed. In all, I would give the artwork for this shoujo a solid B.
Consensus: This is a shoujo that you could easily read in one day….or two if you’re a slow reader. I for one, thoroughly enjoyed it. All sugar coating aside, some folks will probably be inclined to believe that Stepping On Roses is nothing but senseless crap that is amusing while it lasts but easily forgettable otherwise. There is nothing profound about Stepping On Roses. However, it succeeds in being a very entertaining read, despite its plethora of exhausted clichés and shallow storyline. I guess I could call this one of my….guilty pleasures? Give it a try. If anything you’ll probably just laugh and put it down in disgust but then you’ll find yourself picking it up again lol.
More Ratings for Stepping On Roses:
mu§e: 6/10 – Too…much…unrealistic…psychotic…drama. I can’t do it. Lol. On a real though, it’s pretty interesting if you like girly, dramatic stuff. Just be prepared for a serious dose of psychosis. Sumi is RETARDED. Actually, that’s an insult to all retarded people in the world. I apologise sincerely from the bottom of my heart. Sumi is STUPID! Like an absolute IMBECILE. Too bad Darwin’s law wasn’t working for her. Dumbass. The mangaka needs to wrap it up though! Releases are sadly inconsistent and near non existent. It’s a good read when you have nothing else to do…what I call ‘good garbage’…or at the very least ‘amusing garbage’. The thing is, I love to hate this manga. It completes me in a way. I can’t stop hating yet I can’t stop reading, so strangely, it’s annoyingly good. So you should definitely give it a read.
Age Rating: 13 +
Status: Ongoing – 36 Chapters/ 6 Volumes (New releases take forever unfortunately)