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J-Pop Idol: Volume 1    by Millenni+M & Toko Yahiro order for
J-Pop Idol
by Millenni+M
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Music is a big part of pop culture, but it is not easy to capture on the page. Despite this obstacle, many manga have attempted to do just that. J-Pop Idol by Millenni+M and Toko Yahiro is one of the latest to hit stateside.

After winning the 9th annual AiDA Asian Idol Auditon, friends Mika, Kay, and Naomi (the members of No Escape), are psyched for stardom. Unfortunately, the record label only wants to sign Mika. Mika is torn between achieving her dream and losing her friend Kay. However, Ken, Mika's idol from the band The E.N.D., agrees to be Mika's producer and make her a star if she will sign up on her own. Mika decides to go for it and starts falling in love with Ken. Soon, though, she learns Ken's secret, and is determined to make it big if it means helping the man she loves.

While the storyline of J-Pop Idol is at times hard to follow and seems similar to other music manga, it has a good message about friendship and becoming your own person. The story may get a little heavy at times, but Yashiro's artwork is fun throughout. It's drawn with typical shojo flair, the characters having eyes that literally sparkle as emotions practically leap off their faces.

Like any idols, fans may see J-Pop Idol as a new manga to embrace or as a knock-off of other manga. Readers will just have to audition it to see what they think.

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