Behind The Scenes!! Vol. 1 TP
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Price: $9.99
Creator: Bisco Hatori
Format: 200 pgs., Black & White, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4215-8524-6
Age Rating: 13+
ICv2 Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

From the creator of Ouran High School Host Club comes this series about what it's like to work behind the scenes on movies while also attending college.  The main character is an overly apologetic guy named Ranmaru who, while enjoying a quiet day outdoors at his college, has his tranquility interrupted by a movie filming.  One thing leads to another and the next thing he knows he has been roped into joining a club that is in charge of creating everything the various film clubs need to make their movies.

As with most series, there are lots of things to enjoy about this book.  The large and varied cast of characters can be fun to see play out throughout each chapter.  Unfortunately the number of characters introduced in this volume is so large that it can be very difficult to remember who is who since many of them are only given a few pages each to introduce themselves and their personality before disappearing again.  Add in the fact that all of the characters in this book have named based off of famous film directors and things can get even more confusing.

The primary thing to focus on here though is the main character and his very extreme personality.  The fact is that your enjoyment of this book is going to depend largely on how much sympathy you feel towards him as a character.  If you feel bad about his upbringing and find his overly apologetic nature to be endearing, you're going to enjoy this book quite a bit.  If you are on the opposite end of the spectrum and find his constant apologizing to be grating and irritating, you are going to find it difficult to get through even half of this book before feeling the desire to put it down.

To give an example of what Ranmaru's personality is like, one only has to look towards the character Ritsu from the series Fruits Basket.  All you have to do is take that character out of women's clothes and make them the main character of a series set at college and you have Ranmaru.  They are essentially the same character with slightly different backgrounds.

While the characters have their humorous moments, the real joy in reading this book is learning all about the work and effort it takes to create sets, costumes and other assorted items for movies.  Author Bisco Hatori obviously did a great amount of research and it shows in the writing and detailed explanations of what is going on in each chapter.  Other than that however there is not much here for fans of any genre to enjoy.

--L.B. Bryant