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Club 9, volume 3

Creators: Makoto Kobayashi
Publishers Weekly, April 2004

It’s been a few months since Haruo “Hello” Hattori left her small town to go to college in the big city. To say she’s experienced culture shock would be an understatement. Taking the bumpkin Haruo and placing her in the fast-paced city is akin to putting Paris Hilton on a farm. However, Haruo’s making new friends, influencing people, and becoming one of the most popular hostesses in the Ginza District’s tempting Club 9. Her clients include movie stars, captains of industry, comic book artists, sports stars, and everything in between; she doesn’t put out, but that doesn’t stop everyone from being charmed by the naïve but bodacious young woman. In this volume, she’s showered with expensive gifts on her 19th birthday, trying to stay chaste for her hometown boyfriend, and dealing with temptation and life in the fast lane.

Club 9 is a laugh-out-loud series that doesn’t require a lot of background knowledge. Although there are a few outrageous elements (ie: haunted apartment buildings), it’s not a fantasy tale. Author Makoto Kobayashi knows how to craft likeable characters that readers will laugh, cry, and cheer for. The facial expressions help explain most scenes, as do the variety of angles, page layouts and interesting perspectives. Club 9 is easy on the eyes and hard on the funny bone.

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