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Yonen Buzz: Plastic Chew Vol. 1    by Christina Plaka order for
Yonen Buzz
by Christina Plaka
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Christina Plaka is probably the first German manga artist to have a world-wide hit. A few years ago, Tokyopop (both US and German divisions) released her hit manga, Yonen Buzz. Yonen Buzz: Plastic Chew is the prequel to Yonen Buzz (and was originally titled Prussian Blue), but this is its first English-language release.

The band, Plastic Chew, is in dire straits after their lead singer leaves shortly before a major competition. To replace him, they find Sayuri, a girl who has run away from home to pursue her dream of being a rock star. When Sayuri moves in with the rest of the band, the boys find that more than her voice meshes well with lead guitarist, Jun. The two find their friendship growing into something more. But what will it mean for the band when they have their first lovers' spat?

Yonen Buzz: Plastic Chew is a very sweet story. It is all about following dreams, finding your love, and learning to appreciate what you have. The characters are easy to like and the story moves quickly (although there are points where the narrative jumps without warning).

Aside from being a good read, Yonen Buzz: Plastic Chew is also an interesting mix of Eastern and Western manga styles. Plaka has chosen to follow the Japanese right-to-left format and to place her story in Tokyo, making Plastic Chew a J-Rock band. However, her drawing style is more Western, using blank backgrounds and limited shading on her characters. Her characters, also, tend to come across more Western in their mannerisms and actions. But no matter which style you prefer, Yonen Buzz: Plastic Chew is a good introduction to Christina Plaka's Yonen Buzz series.

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