Monday, April 20, 2009

Manga Monday: Honey Hunt

Honey Hunt (Volume 1)
Miki Aihara
Honey Hunt is a manga currently being serialized in Shojo Beat magazine, and I have to say that I liked this first volume of the series so much that I've already purchased other manga from creator Miki Aihara: Hot Gimmick and Tokyo Boys & Girls neither of which I've read before. Honey Hunt has a premise that's not exactly unique in the world of shojo manga: Shy Yura is the daughter of a famous celebrity couple, and she's thrust into the spotlight when her father is caught in an affair, and the two decide to divorce. After making a passionate speech to reporters on television following a string of events, Yura is sought out by a talent scout, and she begins the tedious process of trying to build a name for herself - as an actress. There are definitely echoes of Nana in this, which may be why I was so taken by the book, but the main conflict in the book is really between Yura and her mother. Her mother is an award-winning, highly-regarded actress, and lies about things with ease, which is one reason she won the title of "best mother" among celebrities, even though she hardly spends any time with her daughter. In fact, the woman is extremely cold toward Yura and tries her best to hurt her when talking to her, going so far as to outright betraying her. She is the reason that Yura wants to become an actress, because she can never beat her mother, never be taken seriously, unless it's on her mother's turf. But getting into acting is not an easy thing, especially as Yura is utterly shy and she refuses to let her parents' celebrity status open doors for her. This all makes Yura an extremely likable character. We see her take this abuse with composure, and she only wants to better herself and earn a name on her own merits. Miki Aihara has really done a stellar job of executing this story, with perfect suspense, hitting the right notes emotionally, and providing a nice balance of supporting characters - equal parts friends and enemies in Yura's life. This is all illustrated very competently throughout, making for quite a ride.

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