A small collection of deeply inspiring stories, Beautiful People volume 1 is a manga for those who think differently from the rest of the world.
Mitsukazu Mihara (author of the TOKYOPOP manga Doll) is known for her gothic tales that really get her readers thinking. Her characters' clothes are modeled after the ever-popular Japanese cult favorite Gothic Lolita. Don't let their looks scare you away though. Mihara-ka has a way of pulling readers into her tales. From family issues, to the realizations of what true beauty means, Mihara-ka touches everyone in some way that they can relate.
One of the stories felt like it was a retold, modernized version of Frankenstein. Although it had a great lesson and ending, I didn't care too much for the fact it wasn't original. There was another story that feels like it's familiar, but I cannot put my finger on it. The whole end of the world thing is old, but in one of the tales it gave a new spin on survivors. The last story in the manga was a vampire tale. It's similar to a few other tales, but it has it's own unique features.
Her artwork is perfect for the stories they are in. It may not be the most realistic, what with the weird hands in some panels, but her artwork is definitely appropriate. The interesting hair styles some of her characters don't defy gravity - they look like something that real gothic people walking down the street might have. The clothes designs are nicely done. The way something might ruffle here, or fit just right there, really made since. That's if you know how clothing is supposed to fit.
The last story takes play in what seems to be Japan. The way people react to what's different seems to be what might have been some time ago. The dialect of the man in this story is more mature, which seeing how of whom he is, is very appropriate. The way the mysterious girl in the story Beautiful People is obvious that she hasn't really had many conversations with too many people. It just shows that even people with not much human contact can still make an impact on people. The other stories use really well chosen word choices. If it's a young girl whining about everything or old southern folk greeting you on your return home, it's expressed well with the wording that Mihara-ka has chosen.
All in all, I'd say I rather enjoyed Beautiful People. I had trouble putting it down. Even though I'm not into the whole Gothic Lolita craze, I rather enjoyed the look and feel of the manga.
Beautiful People didn't get a full score, because some of the stories felt like I've already read them. Everything else was exceptional.
TOKYOPOP rated this manga T (Teen Age 13+).