I posted about this in the Recently added series recommendations thread, but want to talk about it more here. Apparently Platinum Garden's odd-duck-ness seems to have confused a lot of people: reviews of the first couple volumes from Tokyopop are permeated with bafflement over its changes in not just tone but genre. Volume one is all about a teenage girl sold into an arranged marriage to pay off her grandfather's debt, but mixed with an annoying "comic" relative of the jerk high-schooler fiance. Volume two, the story turns into a story of a scrappy middle-class girl stuck in an Elite High-School of Snobs(tm). By the end of volume three, however, it becomes clear that what the series really is is a sideways Fruits Basket rip-off, with Tohru, Friend To All Living Things, replaced by a genki girl with a high stubbornness stat. (At least, it's still working that genre through the current scans, mid-volume 6.)

This confusion may explain the series poor sales -- or given Tokyopop just dropped the title, I assume sales were poor. Certainly, I've heard no buzz about this, or even heard of the title till it showed up here.

One thing that strikes me about the series is the familiarity of the character designs, even though I've never read anything by the mangaka before. In particular, they remind me of Saki Hiwatari circa Cosmo no Bokura, enough so I wonder whether Maki Fujita was an assistant for her around that time. Anyone know?

And has anyone else read this?