Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Honey Hunt, vol. 1

Story and Art by Miki Aihara
Published in the US by Viz Shojo Beat

Slugline: Parental abandonment issues galore!

Yura would seem to have a pretty good life since both of her parents rich and famous. But her parents treat her as an afterthought and at best treat her with a sense of benign neglect. Things finally come to a head when Yura's father's affair is discovered and her parent's divorce. At the same time, Yura discovers that her best friend Shin has been sleeping with her mom every since he went off to college. Lost, Yura goes off on her parents in front of the paparazzi. Her diatribe attracts the attention of one of her parent's agents, who offers Yura a chance to stand on her own two feet away from her parents and her old life. With that opportunity Yura begins a career in acting so to be independent and be able to get her parents to recognize her.

I disliked Hot Gimmick! (well, the novel version of it) a previous work by this creator. While I am not sure how much I buy into Yura having a special gift into acting, Yura's struggle for recognition from her parents is powerful and one I suspect many manga readers can emphasize. Having your family not only not understand who you are and what you do, but also being not even sure if it is worth trying to understand what you do is one of the universal adolescent anguishes. Unlike many stories where the parents are out of touch in order to give the main characters a free arena of action, the emotionally missing parents here are what drives Yura. While Yura herself is a little passive, but helps represents someone who has kept her head down most of her life and is only now learning how to do otherwise. The breaking of her old habits are more likely to be a gradual process than a sudden one, making this title feel very real.

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


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