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.