Fridge / The Wallflower

  • At first I found The Wallflower manga to be an entertaining deconstruction of several shoujo tropes played as if the main character was a gloomy horror-obsessed Action Girl, but the ultimate goal of the series, with the aunt wanting to turn her niece into an Yamato Nadeshiko, well... the Unfortunate Implications that a girl can only be happy by following set gender roles rather bugged me. Though with character development, as the series went on, I noticed that it wasn't so much the aunt wanted to brainwash Sunako so much as she had two goals: a) She wants Sunako to be happy and b) She desperately wanted something to bond with her niece over, since she's a rich socialite and Sunako's a shut-in. Sunako's happiness is clearly more important to her than her own, however, since when Sunako does something (non-darkness related) that genuinely makes her happy, Honey (the aunt) instantly tries to think of some way to bond over it. Though the real twist of the series is that other than her superficial hobbies Sunako has been a Yamato Nadeshiko all along, showing great loyalty and determination to protect her friends (especially Kyohei), the looks (keep in mind that at the beginning she's been completely ignoring basic hygiene for a few years, is extremely polite (to non-bright creatures) and has great domestic skill After realizing that, the manga went from one I thought was OK to one of my favorites.-Ferret-X
  • There's a fair amount of Fridge Horror in this series on the parts of everyone, but no one has it close to Kyohei. The more you think about his life, the worse it gets, and some of it is disturbingly realistic. It's repeatedly implied that he was kidnapped, attacked and molested as a child simply because of his looks. Then add to that a total lack of parental support - to the point of hatred on the part of his mother - because his looks keep attracting these psychos. Strangers adore him, while the people closest to him treat him as a burden. How much must that mess with his view of himself? It's the stuff split personalities are born from.
    • And then there's the further horror of his mother kicking him out of the house knowing that he is continually stalked by psychotic fans and perverts and that he has nowhere to go. That's like taking your newborn and deliberately putting it into the path of a hungry dingo. It was a good thing that by that time Kyohei had learned to defend himself expertly, but really, she had to have known exactly what kind of people he was likely to end up in the clutches of.
      • Even worse, going back and watching the episode where Kyohei returns to his parents home to retrieve Sunako, his mother actually tells his father and Sunako that she wanted Kyohei to just disappear forever. She may not have simply known there was a possibility of her son being kidnapped or murdered, she may have been actively hoping that just such a situation would happen.