Monday, April 14, 2008

Honey and Clover, vol. 1

Story and Art by Chica Umino
Released in the US by Viz


Slugline: Why is the title relationship the most boring and shallowest in the book?

Takemoto is a second year student at an art college who is still not very sure what he is planning to major in, but falls into love with Hagumi, a new 18-year-old genius student upon meeting her. Why? Because we need to have a central focus of the overall story, and Takemoto seems have been elected to do so at the beginning since he seemed the most hapless and clueless of the introductory characters, so logically enough he has to be the focus of the story.

Please notice Hagumi is almost incidental to this, which is a shame but that is what is reflected in the book. She is a cipher that is loved because she is childlike, acting almost like a 12 year old, and looking almost that young, which does not reflect well on any of the characters that are pursuing her because it just looks like they prefer women who look and act too young to make an informed decision on relationships. More than a touch of the lolita urge there. The side-relationship involving one of the students, a professional woman that he helps and whom he knows that he has no chance with and the fellow student who loves him despite her intellect telling her to get far away from him, that is far more interested and tense that the supposed main relationship of the story. And far less creepy.



Honey and Clover, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

-Ferdinand

4 comments:

Lianne said...

...which does not reflect well on any of the characters that are pursuing her because it just looks like they prefer women who look and act too young to make an informed decision on relationships. More than a touch of the lolita urge there.

Amen! And this title is a josei, aka a manga for adult women. Why the heck is the main girl a boy's porn fetish? It's just stupid. I hate Honey and Clover. Rargh!

Anonymous said...

You seem a bit harsh.

It didn't grab me as much as it should've, mainly because of the lolita girl as the main love interest. But the relationships surrounding it, and the authencity of college life, and the humor, makes me want to wait a few more volumes before making judgement...

Prospero's Manga said...

I understand why you want to give the series a few volumes to find it's feet. But in virtually all cases my reviews are based on the first volume alone, because that is the only one I will ever receive.

I was actually relieved as the volume went on as it focused more on the secondary character's love triangle. But still Hageru needs to find a concrete personality stat.

anon said...

I don't get where all this Honey and Clover hate is coming from. Hagu is short. End of story. Japanese, or east asians for that matter of fact are (in general) not the tallest people in the world.

While the manga is good, the anime is far superior, the best in it's genre. I watched the anime first so perhaps I'm a tad biased, but this series is a real gem.

Oh, and about Takemoto and Hagu's relationship, while some may consider it boring, it is definitely more realistic than most of the superficial relationships which seem to plague most manga these days.