published in Empire No.85, Sydney
Riotous comedy and sneeringly slick sarcasm shapes The Wallflower, making it another welcome contribution to teen anime that is cooler than you think it is. The plot: four unbelievably self-centred pretty boys - Kyohei, Ranmaru, Takenaga, and Yukinojo – live a gilded existence as toy boy models in the mansion of their filthy rich ‘Auntie’. But things change when she insists on cutting off their support unless they can transform her niece, Sunako, into a gorgeous cultured lady.
But Sunako is a seething Goth, obsessed with hiding her face, watching gore movies, and writing near-necrophiliac poetry. The pretty boy quartet are endlessly freaked by Sunako, while she quakes at the sight of their blinding beauty. With savvy references to the pop industry, host work, Shibuya sub-cults and more bleeding noses than you’ll be able to stomach, this first collection of the series is a winner.