Beauty Pop (ビューティーポップ Byūtī Poppu?) is a shōjo manga series by mangaka Kiyoko Arai. It originally ran in the Japanese manga magazine Ciao. Beauty Pop is published in English by VIZ Media under the Shojo Beat label and in French by Soleil Manga. The manga focuses on the life of a naturally talented hairstylist named Kiri Koshiba, and her problems with the "Scissors Project," a group of boys determined to become the best makeover team in Japan. Beauty Pop went on a short hiatus from Ciao, but came back under the title Beauty Pop Stage 2. The series has also been adapted into a Drama CD which was released on 25 November 2004.
Kiri Koshiba uses her hairstyling talents to help brighten up the lives of girls, but she does so anonymously. On the other hand the Scissors Project (also known as the SP), a group of three boys at school, gives grand makeovers to already-beautiful handpicked girls. Shougo Narumi, the head of the group and a hairstyling genius in his own right, finds himself butting heads with Kiri. To make matters worse, Ochiai, another member of SP, plots to expose Kiri's talents. As much as Kiri tries to shy away from the spotlight, she finds herself drawn into the world of hairstyling.
- Kiri Koshiba (小柴 綺里 Koshiba Kiri?)
- A naturally gifted hair stylist with a strong sense of justice, leading her to give makeovers to girls with certain problems and giving them, as she puts it, "a little magic." Her family owns a beauty salon. She cut her own hair in a layered bob and quit cutting hair as a result of accidentally cutting her mother's ear while styling her hair when she was much younger. The accident left Kiri with a mental scar which continues to haunt her. Kiri is also terrified of cockroaches and the dark.
- Though Kiri is initially confused about what she wants to do with her future, she eventually decides to become a beautician, but has no interest in pursuing fame with her talent. In Beauty Pop Stage 2, she joins the Scissor Project as Narumi's assistant hairdresser.
- Kiri tends to be extremely laid back and absent minded. Narumi and Kiri's relationship is rocky at first, but Kiri warms up to him after he saves Shampoo from getting run over by a bicycle, consequently damaging his wrist. The ending of the series shows that ten years later, Kiri returns to Japan after a short stint with her mother in LA and has married Narumi; they have fraternal twins (a girl and a boy). The boy (who looks like Narumi) acts more like Kiri while the girl (who looks like Kiri) acts like her dad.
- Shogo Narumi (鳴海 彰伍 Narumi Shōgo?)
- The vain, handsome, and temperamental main hair stylist of the Scissors Project. Although he is fiercely competitive in comparison to the majority of the other characters, he is the most amenable member of his own family.
- Narumi is extremely popular with girls, but he does not appear interested partly due to a slight fear of girls. Since Narumi was young, girls treated him like a toy and suffocated him with too much attention. According to his sister Chisami, Narumi breaks out in hives when he touches women, even Kiri. But as his feelings for Kiri grows, he is able to touch Kiri without any detrimental effects. Narumi eventually develops feelings for Kiri, having romantic dreams about her and even accidentally kissing her at the end of volume 8. He even stays with Kiri to comfort her and watch over the house in volume 9. Narumi usually calls Kiri, "Puffyhead".
- Narumi aims to be the top hair-stylist in Japan and has won every national hairstyling competition for seven years. The only time he has ever lost a competition is ten years ago, when he was defeated by a mysterious little girl, "Number 17," later revealed to be Kiri. Ultimately, Narumi and the crew from the Scissors Project officially open up a renowned and popular salon known as Scissors Project. He also marries Kiri and has fraternal twins (a boy and a girl). The girl acts more like him while the boy acts more like his mother.
- Kazuhiko Ochiai (落合 計彦 Ochiai Kazuhiko?)
- The overall beauty consultant of the group. He is the brains behind the operation and acts like a human computer, with "data" on every girl in the school. He is also responsible for make-up on the team, and is aided by the products from his parents' company. He is also at the top of his class. Ochiai has an older sister and a younger brother; all members of his family wear glasses, even his bird.
- Ochiai loves to tease Narumi and is often scheming. Later in the story, Ochiai develops a crush on Kiri. He chases after her and even has Kiri's picture as his cell phone's wallpaper. In the end, although Narumi and Kiri have married, he still refuses to give up on her, even teaching Kiri and Narumi's kids to call him "daddy". He also often schedules appointments after hours for Narumi to prevent him from going home to Kiri so that Ochiai can gladly go in his place.
- Kei Minami (南 啓 Minami Kei?)
- The member of the Scissors Project that does nail art. Kei is playful and is often seen eating junk food and candy. Kei likes to come up with nicknames for his friends like 'Naru-Naru' and 'Narurin' for Narumi while he calls Ochiai 'Occhi'. He also serves as emcee for any Scissors Project event, announcing the model and occasionally commenting while Narumi cuts. He hardly ever wears his school uniform and wears a visor sideways on his head.
- Kei is not good at spelling, one time receiving a "5%" on his spelling test. Because of this, a Scissor Project's model and love scheme on one girl failed, because he incorrectly spelled the model's crush's name. In actuality, Kei is very mysterious, revealing little about himself, and is more observant that Narumi and Ochiai expect him to be. Somehow Kei has the ability to know what and when things happen, even if he is not present (including Narumi's dreams about Kiri). His snooping sense is even better than Ochiai's. The ending shows Kei escorting Narumi and Kiri's twins back to the Koshiba's Beauty Salon for lunch.
- Kanako Aoyama (青山 加奈子 Aoyama Kanako?)
- A friend of Kiri's who admires her talents. Kanako tends to be quite shy and bookish. When she was rejected by Kazuhiko Ochiai, Kiri gave her a makeover to teach the Scissors Project a lesson. After SP's initial model in the final competition backs out, she ends up filling in. Kiri correctly states that, although she looks plain, Kanako has perfect hair, skin, and nails, and therefore is the perfect model. Her "Ordinary girl in love" look wins in the end, over the more glamorous models of the other teams. She and Kenichiro are expecting their first child at the end of the series.
- Taro Komatsu (小松 太郎 Komatsu Tarō?)
- Kiri's childhood friend and neighbor. Kiri calls him "Shimatarou" or "Taro-Tard", which annoys him very much. Taro is a big fan of the Scissor Project and wants to be a beautician because of them, even though he lacks the skill. He works part-time at his family's store, The Komatsu 88 Yen Store. He is very nosy and knows everything that goes on around the school.
- "Shampoo" (シャンプー Shanpū?)
- Kiri's fat pet cat. Shampoo was first a stray who would not trust anyone, having a bad past. When she met Kiri, Shampoo scratched her hand. However, she realizes that Kiri was not like the other people that she had seen, who had been mean and heartless. Shampoo shed tears and was taken home by Kiri.
- Iori Minamoto (源 伊織 Minamoto Iori?)
- Kiri's childhood friend who recently moved back to Japan from New York. His father specializes in making aromatherapy oils and perfumes. He is apparently in love with Kiri's mom and is very affectionate of Kiri. Iori sometimes speaks with broken Japanese, including random English words. He often uses 'me' or 'you' in such statements as 'me will do it for the ladies!' or 'you is safe with me, Kiri!' He ends up engaged to Chisami at the end, despite their constant bickering.
- Seiji Koshiba (小柴 政司 Koshiba Seiji?)
- Kiri's father owns the Koshiba Beauty Salon and was the one to train Kiri in the art of hairstyling. Seiji used to be an idol among hairstylists in his generation and always defeated Shogo Narumi's father in competitions, but left the spotlight once he got married. Kiri looked up to her father when she was younger and wanted to cut hair like him. Kiri gained her speed cutting skills from her father. Seiji wishes for Kiri to become a beautician like him.
- Emi Koshiba (小柴 恵実 Koshiba Emi?)
- Kiri's mother is a famous special effects make-up artist in Hollywood. Even after years of Emi living in LA, Emi and Seiji's marriage has never been strained and the two keep in touch through email. Despite being a kind person, she turns very fierce and somewhat unreasonable once someone threatens Kiri. Iori usually calls her by the name "Emily."
- Kenichiro Seki (関 謙一郎 Seki Ken'ichirō?)
- Kiri's childhood friend. He is highly regarded as part of the Seki Clinic which specializes in invigorating massage due to his 'Hands of God'. His calm personality tends to make even the angriest people around him calm. He helps Kiri regain her composure in a tight spot and is like an older brother to her. He tends to apologize often. Kenichiro seems to have a different attitude after just a bit of alcohol, using his proffessional massage techniques that leave people in uncomfortable positions (mostly Narumi). Kenichiro likes Kiri's good friend Kanako, both of them having shy personalities when people see how well they get along. He ends up Kanako, and ten years later, they are expecting their first child.
- Chisami Narumi (鳴海 千佐美 Narumi Chisami?)
- Narumi's younger sister, who Kiri indifferently "saves" one day when her hair was tangled in a bush. Because of this, Chisami seems to think that Kiri is her Prince Charming (as she thought Kiri was a boy). She later finds out that Kiri is a girl, but she still admires her and refers to her as Prince-sama. In the end, she ends engaged to Iori, though they still argue often.
- Billy Iketani (ビリー 池谷 Birī Iketani?)
- A famous cute hairstylist from LA who is always shown with headphones around his neck. His parents were close friends of Kiri's parents and famous stylists in L.A. His parents died in an accident. Billy works for Narumi's father. Billy takes the legendary Golden Scissors away from Kiri on Narumi's father's orders. He moves in with Kiri and her father in order to obtain the Golden Scissors from Kiri. Billy soon gains guilty feelings for his false use of the Koshibas' hospitality. He develops a minor crush on Kiri. Billy moves back to L.A. with Kiri and her parents, and quits his agreement with Narumi's father.
- Kiri's old dog named Ken who she found on the street being bullied, he was later returned to his owner but dies later and comes back in human form in chapter 34, the third side story, watching and looking out for Kiri, as thanks for all she did for him.
Beauty Pop ran in Ciao magazine for a total of 51 chapters, later bound into 10 volumes by publisher Shogakukan. Viz Media licensed the manga for an English release under their Shojo Beat line. The series underwent a short hiatus from Ciao, but came back in the October 2006 under the new title Beauty Pop Stage 2, though the volumes themselves stayed under the name Beauty Pop.