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A White Rose in Bloom Manga Volume 1 Review

A White Rose in Bloom Manga Volume 1 Review

-Written by: Will

Love is in the air at Right Stuf! At least in our manga catalog! Every February, a swarm of new romance manga engulfs our warehouse, and so does the manga we get to review. I just finished reading Even Though We're Adults, a girls’ love drama with art that demands introspection. Now I get to read A White Rose in Bloom, a manga different in setting and the age of characters, but still gives me similar introspective vibes.

Ruby is a student at a prestigious boarding school for girls in what appears to be the UK. Her parents are “going to have a conversation” (aka get a divorce) and Ruby is forced to stay at the school over Christmas break. The only person to keep her company is Steel Steph. Cold as the weather outside and almost as tall as the windows lining the corridors, Steph’s aloofness makes her very popular. Her gaze pierces the hearts of many girls, including Ruby. Will the persistent Ruby break through Steph’s shell? What will happen to them after the Christmas break? Read the manga to find out! Though I’m sure you could guess.

Ruby raises money for a school Christmas tree (A White Rose in Bloom, pg. 74).

The stand-out aspect of the manga for me was the art. The author, Asumiko Nakamura, has a unique way of drawing characters. Their eyes are large and long with small pupils. It gives their expressions a heightened intensity. Hair flows like a river, becoming an extension of the character’s mood. The paneling makes reading very smooth. There’s also the school itself. It’s clear the author did their research on European architecture. Both from the art and the list of references at the end of manga about English schools. The author really, really loves windows. Tall windows, to be exact. Who could blame them when they frame the action so well.

I wish there was more to support the strong art. The initial attraction happens very quickly and feels sudden. I wish more time was spent during the Winter Break. We could see Ruby and Steph interact more and learn how their isolation brings them closer together. Ruby’s friends could use more fleshing out too. They seem to be there for exposition and reflecting the general feelings of the student body. They remind me of Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan from Harry Potter. I think it stands out because the story has a slow pace. After the initial rush of attraction, the plot slows down. Despite being only 4.5 chapters, this volume felt like a long read.

As a side note to the author, I need more panels highlighting the architecture please! I love the look of the school. The school is mostly kept to the background, but bringing it to the foreground can really give the series a unique tone. The school itself could become a character in its own right if the author plays their hands right.

A White Rose in Bloom was a good read. The art stands out from other manga I’ve read and made me want to check out the author’s other book, Classmates. It is hard to judge manga that are slow-burns such as A White Rose In Bloom off the first volume. We haven’t gotten to the meat of the story yet, though it might be going somewhere if the events of the last chapters are any indication. I’ll have to pick up the second volume to find out.

Ruby and Steph pass each other in a school corridor (A White Rose in Bloom, pg. 42).

A White Rose in Bloom Manga Volume 1

Ruby is a student at an elite European boarding school. Things are going pretty well for her until she finds out that she won’t be able to go home at Christmas. Instead, she’ll be stuck at school with only one other student--the aloof and beautiful Steph--for company. As Ruby tries to understand Steph, she becomes more and more interested in the other girl. But can she break through Steph’s icy exterior?

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