The Wallflower (ヤマトナデシコ七変化 Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge?), a.k.a Perfect Girl Evolution, is a manga series written by Tomoko Hayakawa. The individual chapters have been serialized in Bessatsu Friend since its premiere in 2000, and in 24 tankōbon volumes in Japan by Kodansha. The series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Del Rey Manga and in Singapore by Chuang Yi — under the name My Fair Lady.
Nippon Animation adapted part of the manga series into a twenty-five episode anime series which aired on TV Tokyo and TV Aichi from October 3, 2006 through March 27, 2007. The anime adaptation has been licensed for Region 1 release by A.D. Vision. In 2008, The WallFlower became one of over 30 ADV titles whose North American rights were transferred to Funimation Entertainment.
The Wallflower is about a girl who was called "ugly" by a boy, the first and only person to whom she confessed her love. This incident sparks a life change, and as a result Sunako shuns all forms of beauty, both in herself as well as in life. Concerned by her change for the worst, Sunako's aunt, the owner of a beautiful mansion where four very handsome students live, offers the guys free rent in her mansion if they can turn Sunako into a "perfect lady" (referred to in Japan as the titular Yamato Nadeshiko).
While the four of them manage to make Sunako physically beautiful enough to become a lady, the problem lies with her attitude and interests (which Sunako has no intention of changing). Up until the most recent release in the story, they've managed to convince Sunako's aunt that her niece is indeed a lady befitting the mansion in which they live (and prevent the rent from skyrocketing to triple the required amount). However, in reality, Sunako has not changed considerably.
- Sunako Nakahara (中原 スナコ Nakahara Sunako?)
- Voiced by: Yukiko Takaguchi (Japanese), Hannah Alcorn (English), Live-Action: Aya Ōmasa
- The female lead, Sunako locked herself away and chose to live without any desire for light or beauty after a traumatic experience where she was rejected by her first love. Sunako is a lover of solitude, gory movies, anatomical dolls and objects that reflect the "ugly" side of life as she puts it; her interests resulted in her distorted view of reality and isolation contributed to her low self-esteem.She is intelligent, talented in numerous areas, particularly cooking, and is an exceptionally strong fighter. However, by living with Kyouhei and the other boys, she gradually interacts with other people and slowly sheds her anti-social tendencies. She has especially mixed feelings about Kyouhei and as the storyline progresses, their relationship becomes more solid and intimate.
- Kyouhei Takano (高野 恭平 Takano Kyohei?)
- Voiced by: Showtaro Morikubo (Japanese), Josh Grelle (English), Live-Action: Kazuya Kamenashi
- The most popular and physically attractive of the foursome, Kyouhei is initially seen as selfish, blunt, demanding, and having no inclination to be gentle towards Sunako unless it will reduce rent. Kyouhei's unnaturally good looks resulted in a history of unfortunate experiences: he is unable to hold a job because he prone to being sexually harassed and he left his hometown because his family was unable to take the strain of his fans constantly harassing and mobbing them. Because of these experiences, he is able to empathesize with Sunako best; he develops a solid relationship with her and protects her when she needs him to. However, his own unresolved feelings for her mean that he is unafraid to take advantage of her weaknesses or provoke her rage. Kyouhei enjoys fighting and loves to eat, especially Sunako's cooking. Strawberries and fried shrimp are his favorite foods.
- Takenaga Oda (織田 武長 Oda Takenaga?)
- Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita (Japanese), Vic Mignogna (English), Live-Action: Hiroki Uchi
- A serious and intelligent young man from a wealthy family of ikebana masters. Takenaga is usually the voice of reason amongst the foursome and the least fazed by Sunako's morbid habits. However, he is emotionally reserved as a result of extreme pressure as his family's heir; as a result, Takenaga is too shy to express his feelings towards his girlfriend, Noi. As the manga progresses, he becomes more social and open about himself.
- Yukinojo "Yuki" Toyama (遠山 雪之丞 Toyama Yukinojo?)
- Voiced by: Yuuya Yamaguchi (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English), Live-Action: Yuya Tegoshi
- A gentle and kind boy who is devoted to his friends, Yuki comes from an ordinary family to board with the Landlady, who is a friend of his mother's. He is the most innocent and easily frightened of the four, especially in regards to entering Sunako's room. Because of his effeminate features, he is often reluctantly forced to dress up like a girl, which has led to self-esteem issues.
- Ranmaru Morii (森井 蘭丸 Morii Ranmaru?)
- Voiced by: Hirofumi Nojima (Japanese), Chris Patton (English), Live-Action: Shuntaro Miyao
- Ranmaru is a notorious playboy who is the only son of a wealthy family of hotel chain owners. He is extroverted, confident, and a self-professed expert of love and women, having dated many older married women. However, he has a good heart and cares for his friends and is the most active in the goal towards making Sunako into an ideal lady. He is later engaged to a reserved and sheltered girl, whose unusual attitude towards him creates mixed feelings and makes him unsure of his playboy ways.
- Noi Kasahara (笠原 乃依 Kasahara Noi?)
- Voiced by: Mai Nakahara (Japanese), Jessica Boone (English), Live-Action: Ranko Kobe
- Most likely the most beautiful girl at school, Noi becomes friends with Sunako in order to become closer to Takenaga, though genuinely values her friendship with Sunako and greatly admires her abilities. She is Sunako's best female friend and stands up for her when their classmates make fun of her. Because of her quick temper and romantic notions, she and Kyouhei often argue, particularly in regards to Sunako. Noi loves Takenaga unfailingly, but often questions the nature of their relationship as Takenaga is too shy to make his feelings toward her more explicit. Like the boys, Noi is not that good when it comes to housework. She also starts to become friends with Tamao, Ranmaru's fiance.
Because the manga's creator, Tomoko Hayakawa, is an avid admirer of J-Rock singer Kiyoharu, it was decided that Kiyoharu would perform the theme music for The Wallflower anime. His songs, "slow" and "Carnation" play over the opening and ending themes, respectively. The songs were a collaboration between Kiyoharu and Takeshi Miyo. The background orchestral music was written by two respectable Japanese composers, Hiromi Mizutani and Yasuharu Takanashi.
The opening theme "slow" plays over recycled footage from the first episode, and is more of a love ballad. Episode 14 onwards shows the second version of the opening sequence which portrays more original footages. Whether this change was made due to growing popularity or the initial reception is unknown.
The first closing theme, "Carnation", the more upbeat of the two, is set to a small computer animation of Hiroshi dancing in the corner as the credits scroll up the page.
∞Changing∞, the second ending theme by Bon-Bon Blanco, presents the viewers with an even faster rhythm while preserving the use of computer animation (Hiroshi, Josephine and Akira dancing to the song) in the sequence.
Live Action Drama
In the 18th issue of Bessatsu Friend, it was announced that a live action drama adaption of the manga has been green-lit for airing in January 2010. On November 30, the cast was announced for the live action drama. Actor and member of the J-pop group KAT-TUN, Kazuya Kamenashi stars as Kyohei, while actress Aya Ōmasa plays the lead role as Sunako. This is broadcast on TBS with the opening theme, KAT-TUN's "Love Yourself (Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki)." They added one more main character, Nakahara Takeru, the landlady's son.
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- ↑ Young designer works a haute pace before Fashion Week
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- Official Betsufure The Wallflower manga website (Japanese)
- Official Del Rey The Wallflower manga website
- Official TV Tokyo The Wallflower anime website (Japanese)
- Official AT-X The Wallflower anime website (Japanese)
- Official Funimation The Wallflower anime website
- Official TBS The Wallflower TV drama website (Japanese)
- The Wallflower (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopediaar:ياماتو ناديشيكو تشيشي هينغي